Saturday, March 14, 2015

You know you're a fair kid's MOM when...

My "fair friend" (really she's my always friend, but we know each other mostly through years of 4-H,) shared an article with me on Facebook, "You know you're a fair kid when..." and all of it rang true.

But it got me thinking about all the things that could be said about being a fair kid's mom.  Here goes:

Image result for 4h1.  If your name is on the stall card, it's your responsibility... but if the animals in the next stall over need something, or more specifically-- poop scooped, you do it.  Even if it isn't your animal.  It's called animal husbandry and common courtesy.

2.  You work hard to make sure your kids get at least one decent meal a day during fair week.  For us, this means community style lunches with some club friends-- tacos in a bag, barbecues, or sub sandwiches.  Even if it's just out of the back of my minivan, at least I know where it came from and whose hands touched it!  Also, if a fellow 4-Her is hungry, SHARE!  The 4-H motto:  "for my club, my community, and my world" rings loud and true during fair week!

3.  You know how to stay composed.  When my kids come in last place, I dig deep and always try to be a good example.  On me, this looks like congratulating and patting-on-the-back our fellow 4-Hers who won first in their class or took top place in showmanship.  The judge doesn't care that MY kid was out in the pasture everyday bottle feeding his animal.  He or she really doesn't care that my kid knows how to pull a calf, administer medicine, or spends most of his summer vacation working side by side his dad and grandpa on the farm.  His animal isn't the fluffiest, and yes it's crossbred.  That's what we do.

4.  You learned the politics early on.  But, you try and be the best YOU you can be, because the future of the program depends on the example you set for those who will one day have 4-Her's of their own.  At the end of the week, if we've had fun and spent quality time with our friends, then that is all that matters.  I don't remember the winning or losing from when I was a kid, I remember the good times and the friendships I made!

See where "Mom" is?  At the hind end, making sure everyone stays where they need to.  By the way, did you know that calves tend to kick?  Yeah, they do.  It hurts.  Also, it's not glitter and sprinkles that come out of that end...
5.  Crying at the auction is allowed.  But I have to admit that I get choked up LONG before sale day.  When we're leading the cattle up and down the road in the evenings, when the kids are brushing, washing, petting, and caring for their animals in general, it breaks my heart to know how much their hearts will hurt on Sunday when they have to load the trailer--and not OUR trailer, not headed for OUR farm.  It really doesn't get easier as the years pass, either.  It also brings tears of joy to my eyes to see their hard work pay off as they lead their animals around the show ring and again on sale day, when so many people come out support the 4-Hers and the program.  All in all, 4-H is "good people".

6.  And the clothes:  yes.  The clothes.  I wouldn't be caught dead in my workplace (or public, for that matter) wearing what I can usually be found wearing at the wash rack early in the morning of fair week.  But for those 5 days, it's a matter of getting the job done.  I figure that people see me at my "best" 360 days of the year, they'll forgive me my sopping wet overalls, bandanna and rubber boots.  As far as those show clothes:   my iron and ironing board see more action on the Sunday or Monday before the fair than it does all year.  It's the ONLY time (well maybe at Easter) that my kids get their shirts (and sometimes jeans) ironed!  I don't think that the average person understands how long those clothes STAY clean.  MAYBE 2 minutes.  Those nicely pressed shirts are slobbery/sweaty/dusty mere minutes after being donned.

So, in closing, please remember that behind every "fair kid" are dedicated, hard working, and tired parents.  Parents who sometimes believe more firmly in "making the best better" than is humanly possible.  But, at least we're trying?!?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesomely writen.