If you're like me, your MS is your baby. You change it. You clean it. You feed it. You watch it stumble and tumble and crawl and fall, and you try not to cry when it skins a knee. Like any other mother I know, you also have a difficult time seeing its flaws. You block out the unruly hair, the pudding-stained chin, the (gasp!) smelly diaper. Your baby is your life, and it is perfect, by God. Every last inch of it.
So what do you do? You enter your baby in a beauty pageant, of course! Because your baby is the cutest baby alive, and you're sure all the judges will see it, too. You fluff your baby's hair. You pile on the makeup. You wrap your baby up in a big, sparkly dress. And then you sit on the front row, video camera in hand, and wait for the victory you know will come.
Except, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, the judges don't see what you see. Sometimes, your baby gets rejected.
It's cruel and it sucks, and you find yourself getting a little bitter about it. "That judge didn't know what she was talking about," you tell your friends. "My baby is perfect," you repeat ad nauseum. And you ignore the looks on your friends' faces, because if you really pay attention, you'll realize that maybe, just maybe, those judges weren't so wrong after all.
Beauty is subjective. We all know this. But that doesn't mean we can throw a tiara on a dirty, smelly kid and pretend everything's A-OK. Judges are harsh. They have to be, what with the upteen bazillion Pageant Queen wannabes they see every week. If we want our babies to win, we have to make them shiny and pretty and sparkly and genuine, before we send them onto the stage. Anything less and we're not only wasting the judges' time, we're also wasting ours.