NAM Pageant 1/2 Way Impression
I have to admit I am having a better time at the NAM pageant than I thought I would. I truly believe I came in with such low expectations that anything else has been a pleasant surprise. My worst fears were that Anna would not be happy, would not perform well, that Alex would complain the entire trip, that Ella would be a terror and cry the entire time and that I'd be trying to convince everyone including Pete that we are having fun while knowing how much we shelled out on this venture.
Fortunately, this experience has been the complete opposite. While Anna still moaned about practicing, she taught me a huge lesson. When she got up on stage for the evening wear and personal introduction, she nailed them both. We were all a little shocked at how well she did. The few times I had seen her practice left me extremely worried. I just dreaded her being disappointed. I am glad I didn't push her harder and next time I will have to listen to her when she says she's got it. - well maybe.
Ella has been pretty good. She loves seeing all the girls in their dresses walking around. She was pretty captivated during the competition and clapped after each girl. If someone in the crowd whooped it up, so did she. It was cute. She even managed to wiggle her way into Anna's photoshoot. Fortunately the hotel has a nice pool and long corridors so she has been able to expend some energy there.
Alex has spent the past few hours perfectly content in the hotel room (shocker, out of one man cave and into another). With the laptop and TV is has everything he needs to feel right at home. Pete has been a really good sport and did an excellent job as Anna's escort when she had a last minute change of mind deciding not to go with a volunteer. Thank God we packed his suit just in case.
As for the people here, the other families couldn't be friendlier. I have enjoyed talking with several of them (way more than I thought I would). And I am a tad disappointed that I do not have any stage mom stories to share (at least not yet). Everyone I've met seems pretty normal and we all are just trying to get our kid to the right room, in the right outfit at the right time. It has been a bit of a whirl wind, but in a good way. The staff has been super helpful and the girls really seem to respond to them. Most are former contestants themselves.
Aside from the endless opportunities to empty your wallet, this has been a great trip. Tomorrow Anna has 2 remaining competitions, a rehearsal and then the finale. I keep telling her to not get her hopes up too high. I have read that rarely ever do first time pageant contestants win. I think top 15 would be amazing and based on what I saw tonight, I don't think it is out of the question.