I’ve been nutsy busy, two birthday parties, Hickman county fair and my first pageant, my sister came into town for a week, Ms. Deanne & her husband (Ms.Deanne owns the preschool in Malibu that Bella attended), Jerry Peele our partner and friend spent the week with us as well, I went back to Chihuly at Cheekwood, spent the day out on the Ranch, cooked non stop, Bella ran in her first cross country meet 3/4 of a mile, Lola brought home the first virus of the year and kindly shared with MaryAlice and Bella, we wrapped everyone’s visit up with a concert in downtown Nashville – Brooks & Dunn’s final show EVER.
All of this in 10 days!
Bella’s party was a hit, I invited 44 kids and 37 made it! My Mr. Mom friend, Alex whom I met at last years “Wanna Be Groovy Montessori School” brought his daughter and made the funny remark that “Wow, these people actually show up and have conversations with you!” That evening Jane Ellen and her kids, Mary Alice, Nicole (my sister) all hung at our house for dinner and in last years fashion we gathered around the statue of Mary and lit candles for all 4 of our kids whom have just celebrated their birthdays. Again I heard a whisper..”You have your circle of women and children, you are not alone.”
This was a marathon of a birthday weekend that had begun on Thursday, Bella and Spencer’s birthday and Hickman County Fair’s Pageant night. Samantha 15, Jane Ellen’s oldest daughter was a contestant this year. I have never been to a pageant, as a young girl I didn’t have that type of beauty, my momma never had the cash for it and she was a bit of a feminist and I have shivered with horror watching the disastrous child pageants on t.v.
So, I’m sure you are wondering how I “Princess Know It All” became a sponsor of a contestant?
Nobility, that’s how.
The floods came and washed away our Ranch, taking our home with it. We could barely find people to come and help us clean up and maybe they would come out a couple times but consistent repeat help was unheard of,except Jane Ellen and Samantha. The two of them worked for two weeks straight, digging through mud, piss and shit (sorry to be so graphic but floods aren’t pretty). Samantha put her hands where I couldn’t dare to go, she worked in the heat and dry moldy dust harder then most men; I marveled at her work ethic and humbleness. We got to talking and she told me how she’d been in the Hickman County pageant a couple years back and won! I could see she was beautiful and I was thrilled to find out that she was such a combo – beauty, grace, humility, kindness, compassion, award winning goat showing girl and a member of the high school skeet shooting team!! I asked her if she was going to do the pageant again and she said “I don’t know, the dresses cost a ton of money.”
Leaving all of my preconceived notions regarding pageant behind and I jumped at the opportunity “I’d be honored for PKIA to sponsor you, I’ve never met a young girl like you before – you have taught me so much these past few weeks just by showing up every morning”.
(Sam is here on the right – helping with the flood clean up)
Well, a couple weeks ago Sam, Jane Ellen, Bailey (Sam’s sister), Bella and myself hit the pavement in search of a pageant gown. Our first stop was in Hillsboro Village, a woman named Maria owns the sweetest bridal & formal dress shop! We didn’t find anything here, but felt inspiration!
After sifting through dresses for hours the first gown we tried on was the one we all agreed on. After returning home to my house we ate dinner, Bella and Lola put on a show and I thanked Sam for including me, I told her I thought it was wonderful for her to give up her Saturday night out with friends. She said “Mam, I don’t go out on the weekends, I like being with my family and if I wasn’t around my family wouldn’t be able to do what it is that we need to get done to support us all.” Again, nobility filled the room.
My sister arrived on Thursday, Bella was so thrilled to be able to take cookies to her school, acknowledging her birthday was a big deal – again “Wanna Be Groovy School” has got it so wrong when it comes to holidays and bdays – KIDS LOVE to celebrate – life is about celebration! I rolled to the airport loaded my sister and then surprised Bella after school with Nicole’s arrival! Lauren my beauty gal was in tow, and on team PKIA – PAGEANT TIME! Of course Lauren painted up Sam’s face with total grace while the kids played on Jane Ellen’s magnificent farm and I breathed in the sweet Tennessee air.
Once Sam was painted up we loaded into the Magnolia Thunder Pussy and headed towards Centerville – the quintessential small southern town and home of the Hickman County fair. The kids were siked to eat fair food, and I made sure that Nicole and Lauren tried everything that I choose not to eat so as to avoid a tummy ache, they loved the Chicken on a stick, I asked the woman making it what she did to the batter she said “Girl, that’s a Slidell secret, my family is Louisiana all the way and we ain’t afraid of some flavor.”
After everyone got their grub on we headed down towards the barn and outdoor pavilion, the Hickman county fair is a pretty small event in comparison to the Lorain County Fair that I attended as a child, but the feeling was identical and the music blasting out from the rides fo’sho was the same - Def Leopard and Ratt!” ‘
It’s a good thing we’d done the makeup at the house, ’cause there was one tiny bathroom, one power outlet and a bunch of girls trying to get their cute on. What was really great was that the little girls in the pageant were make up free, and even bare footed!!! The announcer was pretty funny, as he shared these little peoples life time goals with us – most claimed to wanna be doctors when they grew up.
Finally, the older girls were up and we all gathered in our seats for Sam’s arrival on stage – we cheered like mad and then it happened SHE WON!
Lauren and I screamed like we’d won!!!!
I was drunk with excitement, rattling off how we should take this show on the road – PKIA PAGEANT STYLIST!
I’d forgotten all my past ideas on pageants; what I saw before me was the most balanced young girl I have ever met – she understands beauty outside and inside, she knows where food comes from and how to get it, she isn’t afraid of dirt under her nails, she honors her family and respects herself and KNOWS how to stand tall, smile and wave – something that we all need to do in our lives. Of course my “Hi I’m Not the Rib” wouldn’t be down with all this, but Mee the true personality in this body see’s the duality of all of our characters, and “Hi I’m Something To Look At” has a healthy place in this world too – when she stands in the room with awareness.
Jane Ellen Said it best, “This is just as important as her learning to work on the farm, another piece to add to her confidence – she knows she is good enough on the inside and outside and she knows how to enter the room with the grace of a lady.”
To be Continued….