Pageant mother: Whirlwind just isn’t the right word

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

“Whirlwind” does not begin to describe what Miss Mississippi preparation feels like.

Perhaps it would suffice if my daughter were a second-year contestant, maybe then it would only feel like a whirlwind; but preparing for the first time definitely needs a stronger meteorological comparison.

Kristy Brumfield

I have probably come close to having my number blocked by some of the veteran moms who have so graciously answered the strangest of questions over the last six months. Really, on what other occasion does one need to know the name of a seamstress who can ready a swimsuit for the stage?

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Don’t most of us just choose the least offensive one on the rack and pray for a glorious new body on the way to the dressing room?

So many lists have been made and checked when completed. So many details have been agonized over, and, in all honesty, I’ve watched my daughter take charge of the lion’s share of these tasks. It has been one of my favorite things about Miss Mississippi preparation: watching her handle the whirlwind like an adult, like a professional, like an executive with an important job to complete.

I’ve always believed that my children’s work should be theirs. I was never the mom who decorated their science fair boards for them or wrote their papers. When my children were small, one could easily tell which project belonged to a Brumfield because it was always the one that looked like it had actually been done by a third-grader.

I’ve gone into Miss Mississippi much the same way. I’ve been here for guidance, given opinions, helped carry burdens where I could, but mostly marveled at how independent this process has made my young adult daughter. I am not competing for Miss Mississippi. She is. 

All of that being said, though, it was very difficult to be out of town with my job in the final days before contestant check-in. Sure, I was thankful that my husband, mother-in-law, and younger daughter could be there to move her things into the hotel and dressing room, but it was hard not being able to share that experience.

Compounding this difficulty was the fact that we lost my precious grandmother Sunday while I was en route to Atlanta from New York. We had to make arrangements to break this to my daughter at the hotel once I was back in Vicksburg.

Did I mention that “whirlwind” was not a strong enough word?

So many people will tell you the Miss Mississippi experience is one you will never forget. I think that holds true for mothers as well.

Kristy Brumfield is the mother of Colby Brumfield, who is competing in the Miss Mississippi Pageant. Colby is the reigning Miss Warren County. Kristy has been associated with the pageant over the years, but this marks her first year as a “pageant mom.”