As you may have surmised from previous posts, I was a little anxious about fair this year. Last year was a stone-cold disaster, with me ending up in the hospital on Saturday night. Previous fairs usually included some sort of stress-induced crisis.
Before this year even started, I decided: Not This Year. Or it would most certainly be the last.
Instead it was laissez fair all the way. I attempted to adopt a completely laid-back attitude, which is not really my normal state of being, to see if that would make any difference. Kids didn't want to do something? Then it wouldn't get done (within reason; they still had to take sheep up there). I didn't want to do something? Then it wouldn't happen (again within reason; I still had to go).
And I am happy to report that, for the most part, this worked out really, really well. That, and my husband was a rock star in the supportive father and spouse role.
It all started on Friday afternoon, when the kids got the truck and trailer loaded up in record time and were ready to leave—and I wasn't. I let it, and them, go without me.
Historic, and bittersweet, moment, watching them pull out all on their own, because I have always taken them up, but it was the best move I made all weekend. By the time I got up there a couple of hours later, the sheep were unloaded and penned, the tack area was set up just the way they wanted it, including floral decorations, and I barely had to lift a finger. What the heck have I been doing all these years?
It continued that night. Due to the predicted heavy rain, I decreed that I couldn't be responsible for eight kids in tents. (I take responsibility for several kids whose parents don't want to camp out. It's one of those things I have resigned myself to, because they are my kids' friends and it makes my kids happy to have them there, and they are super kids who don't give me a moment's trouble—it's just a lot of responsibility.) One of the kids' parents brought up their camper so they could all stay there, instead of everyone missing out on the fun and going home for the night.
I opted out of the camper and into my truck. It was quiet, smell-free, cozy and dry, though admittedly slightly cramped. I refrained from getting involved, not even to offer a whisper of an opinion, on how they could arrange themselves best in the camper. They worked it out, and they lived with it.
The fair continued in this vein. And everyone, me included, had a spectacular time. It's a wonder how simple things can be when I simply let go.
Pies were eaten in the most gloriously messy way, the only way to eat a pie at fair (amazing, not a lot has changed in four years, except for all the growing up; they still took first and second in that contest).
Sheep were costumed: he was a "Grad-ewe-ate with his Sheepskin." Never saw that as a potential use of my graduation garb when I finished college. He came second to a brilliant "Frozen"-themed entry: "Let it Goat," an admitted pandering to the crowd but a most excellent costume. We knew were were beaten the moment we saw it.
Sheep were also shown, and a Grand Champion Wool Ram ribbon was won, among others.
Terzo knew it was one of the last with his big brother. I wasn't the only one feeling the bittersweet vibe.
A friend recently said it best, of a particular task, that she wanted to be "fulfilled, not stressed." That's how this past weekend ended up, and I couldn't have hoped for a better conclusion.