Lily has been begging me to enter her into a pageant. I am an English professor and didn't want to do it. I think there is some sort of law about that kind of thing.
But law or no law, I could not escape the simple fact: Lily's will is stronger than mine.
Lily's will is stronger than titanium. Stronger than reinforced concrete or even any exaggerated idea of the word "stubborn." Postmodernism, Feminism, cultural hierarchies of value: Lily's will surpasses them all. In a way, it's one of the things I admire about her. So much self possession in such a little body.
The pageant was this Saturday.
She won first place. And a bunch of other stuff. Three trophies, two sashes, a cover-shot, a bag of toys, and a queen's crown.
It was amazing, actually. She walked across the stage as if she'd been doing it for years. She waved and blew kisses and held her arms in a perfect oval the way they do on TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras." She looked right at the judges and smiled, winking like a 25 year old Miss America contestant.
Lily is five and has never even been on stage before. Except maybe in a previous life. Which would explain a lot, actually.
The thing about giving in and the cognitive dissonance caused by my visceral sense of pride--I was so proud of her! and so amazed that such a thing came from me. But how?--well, the thing about it all is that you give in once and you think you're done with it.
And then your baby wins first place and is supposed to go on to finals.
Cognitive dissonance: a permanent condition tied to being Lily's mother? Probably.
Here she is on the program cover:
(Thanks to Barb for the award winning picture!)