Oh what a weekend it's been...
Summerfest is always physically tiring for all of us because we're all involved with different facets of the festival. This weekend had the added emotional component with Amanda running for Winsted Ambassador.
Only 3 out of the 6 candidates were crowned.
Amanda was not one of them.
However, I couldn't be prouder of her than I am. From not wanting to do it at ALL, to reluctantly signing up so there would be 6 candidates in order for 3 to be crowned (it's Winsted's 125th anniversary next year so they wanted to make a big deal of it), to deciding to give it her all and not have any regrets...she's been a trooper through it all.
This picture was taken when she was answering her fish-bowl question (something that lets the judges see how well the candidate can spontaneously think on her feet and come up with a coherent answer) which was, "What obstacle have you had to overcome?" (or something like that)
Amanda thought for a few seconds and answered as honestly as she could, "One of the obstacles that I've had to overcome was being made fun of because I'm smart." (I can't remember what else she said, but that's the gist of it.) And it's true. For awhile she tried to dumb herself down so that she could fit in...we're talking at 7-8 years old here.
Until I figured out what was going on and had a, er, "discussion" with her about it. I told her to NEVER EVER EVER EVER play dumb to get people to like her (especially boys); that it was BEYOND OK to be smart, and that someday she would be in a place where LOTS of people are smart like she is; and that most importantly, if being smart was her gift for this life, it's better to honor it and use it wisely rather than attempt to try and ignore it. I didn't know how much of that
When she realized that she wasn't going to be crowned as an ambassador today, I was so proud of the way she held herself--not as someone who was bitter and mad about losing, but with grace and dignity. The judges had asked the ambassador committee if they could crown 4 instead of 3; when they were told no, just 3, all of them made a point to come up to Amanda at the end and strongly urge her to run again next year, which they certainly didn't have to do (her response was one of my stock ones, "We'll see", which usually translates into, "Ahahahahaha, no." So we'll indeed see.)
She came home, got changed into street clothes, and went back up to the festival with her head held high. She congratulated all the new royalty and talked with them for awhile. Apparently there were a few people who were surprised that she was up there, but I'm not sure why. We've raised her to be a gracious winner AND loser, plus that's just who she is.
So I don't know if she'll run again next year as requested, but I do know that she is an amazing young lady, and I'm very glad I can be along for the ride.