Mommy’s Good Girl

Angry mothers tug their princesses past me, barking orders. I consult my clipboard scanning the hall of mini contestants in big hair and glittery costumes for Amber Alegretti. Unlike the six-year-olds with spray tans and plumping lip-gloss, Amber is known for her natural look.

I push the restroom door open and call inside, “Amber?”

“No more,” a young voice pleads from the open stall.

Her mom looks at me with an exasperated smile.

“I wouldn’t ask, Amber, if I didn’t think you could do it. I believe in you, sweetie,” she says tenderly.

I breathe. The room is cool and quiet in contrast to the stuffy overbearing bodies in the hall.

Amber’s mom smoothes back the sleek auburn locks of her daughter’s hair and pats her shoulder.

“C’mon, honey,” she coaxes, “puke again.”


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