Thursday, July 5, 2007
Last Week Rachel served as Little Miss Draper in the Miss Utah Pageant. When Miss Draper, Jessica Bingham, called to ask Rachel to be her Little Miss, the timing couldn't have been better.
Rachel is the proverbial middle child, the pleaser, the easy one, the peacemaker. April was a difficult month in that she was struggling with a valued friendship and the sweet antics of Baby Miles had knocked her off her princess rocker. She's never really one to demand attention, she just kinds of rolls along, busy doing her thing. But I knew being Little Miss Draper would be the type of confidence booster that I as her mother couldn't give her. I knew working so closely with Jess would be an invaluable lesson in service and friendship.
Rachel and Jessica have become kindred spirits. They share the same goofy, silly personality, the same easy going attitude. I have loved watching Rachel blossom under Jessica's care. From notes passed during church, to phone calls, emails, play dates, jumping on the trampoline and throwing back handsprings, Jessica has become Rachel's favorite pal.
Rachel has many older cousins that dote on her in much the same way and shower her with all sorts of attention. They talk to her about girl power, about rising above the drama of first grade, about her crush on a certain tow-headed boy in her class. And yet, her friendship with Jessica has strengthened her in a much different, more powerful way.
I'm sure some of it has to do with getting all dressed up for teas and beauty pageants. But I think it has more to do with the type of girl Jessica is and the type of girl I hope Rachel is becoming. We've had many conversations about what being Miss Draper means and how the very least of it is pretty dresses and make up. We've discussed Jessica's platform (Power in You), her opportunities to serve not only our community of Draper, but the entire state of Utah; we've discussed her talents, her poise, her education, her ability to shine on stage and off. She is to Rachel a role model in every sense of the word.
And as Little Miss Draper's mom, I am most grateful. I see the spark in Rachel's eye again. I see how this friendship has lifted her. I see her stretching herself in ways that will serve her well in the years to come.
When Rachel and I attended the Miss Utah devotional, the director of the pageant told the girls that only one of them would win and be crowned Miss Utah. She told them that they were already winners for all that they had accomplished thus far, for the service they had rendered, and most importantly, she told them if this opportunity didn't come knocking, then they were to build another door.
Our darling Miss Draper was not crowned the new Miss Utah, but as I visited with her the night after the pageant, it was evident that she was already building more doors. She was gracious and kind; she was making plans and was confident in who she was and determined in where she was headed. There is no one I would rather my daughter look up to.