Camping, animals, and the pride of showing ones skills with them, along with the stressful realization that kids are a joy even when they are crazy. Moving from that 2100 sq ft home into a 26′ travel trailer for a week tends to up the stress levels to epic proportions all in the hopes that tomorrow brings the next blue ribbon. Awards to show success in the great big world of show and sporting animals.
Like life, we strive for the win. That big blue ribbon to prove our abilities. From the starting line through the twist and turns of the polls and barrels, we weave our way through life trying to find the finish line learning love and compassion along the way. No one ever knew how much a horse would actually mean to them.
Then there are the bunnies, soft and fuzzy with nothing but love and cuddles… Along with a few scratches. We learn to love and bond with those fuzzy little things. Thousands of kids and adults parading past trying to get a glimpse of the inevitable beauty.
Beauty that we all find in different facets of our lives. From appreciating the camping here or the friendships made with other parents. Late night cookouts and bonfire fun lead us into something more than friendship and into a family. I’ve grown close to the parents and their kids all while watching them grow. The 4-H maybe low priority to some, but if you see the amazing people produced from it, you will see why it is so much more than just an animal or just a show.
As we come to the inevitable close of the 2016 fair week and I can look forward to sleeping in my own home and bed I will look back at this week. Watching the kids open for an amazing group called the Steel Town Gunslingers (and being ask to do it again). The days of having 6-7 kids camping in one trailer. The kids making new friends. The times shared and planning for the next show and the next year.
Sure, some days we will fall off, sometimes we are just short of that ribbon yet we carry on into the next compition learning from our mistakes and taking note of what to fix. Never giving up on the final goals.
Seems a lot like life in that grand scheme. Sometimes we hit the blue ribbon and sometimes the red second. Other times you walk away with the learning experiences that came with it. So as we wind down and the girls are celebrating and partying at the 4-H dance I can sit here and reflect on what I learned…
It’s not about that final goal or how the end comes. It’s not about ribbons or glory. It’s not about watching life pass by or defining who you are. Life is about living, memories, and the people who make it worth while. Kids riding rides and families coming together. Life isn’t about being transgender or being the best at something. It’s all about living.
Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live like you’ll die tomorrow. ~ James Dean