To The Fair We Go

I may have to “blame it on my roots,” but I love a county fair.  I love the animals, the food, and, to be honest, the entire atmosphere.  To me, there is nothing else like it.  Granted, I am a Midwest farmer’s daughter!  For me, the county fair is a huge reminder of my younger days.  The county 4-H fair was in my hometown, and I went every day.  There was always something new to see, something new to experience. 

When I moved to Southern California and discovered there were fairs here, I was shocked.  And, overjoyed.  It was a piece of home that I could still experience in this otherwise different place.  Now that we have kids, Hubby and I make sure to take the family every year.  We only go once.  After all, the fair isn’t cheap.  But, we go for several hours and do whatever they want.  We eat with wild abandon, ride all the kiddie rides, and go through the exhibit and livestock barns.  Yes, we even watch the pig races.  It’s an annual experience, and part of what makes it special is that it only happens once a year.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I want you to find your closest county fair and take the family.  In an increasingly urban environment, it is the only way a lot of our children will ever get to experience agriculture.  There are handmade quilts, photographs (including some by The Photo Addict at the OC Fair!), works of art, and beautiful hand-knitted garments to peruse.  There is food you can experience nowhere else: chocolate-covered bacon, deep fried Snickers, and Krispy Kreme chicken sandwiches, for starters.   There is seriously good people-watching, and the rides are a fun departure from the character-driven attractions at theme parks. 

My family is going this weekend, and I know we will all have an amazing time.  Last year, Bugster was a newborn and really couldn’t enjoy it.  She’s a huge animal lover, and a total daredevil.  The Big Cheese loves, loves, loves rides.  And dessert.  There is no doubt they will love the county fair, 2010!

Leaving Babyhood Behind

Where did baby go?

Baby's first love.

It seems we began counting down the days until Rocky goes to school since we brought him home from the hospital. Now the day is near and it’s bittersweet. It’s a leap of faith knowing that I can’t protect him during his time there. There will be days of sadness and frustration throughout the school years that he will have to face and deal with himself. Have we prepared him enough?

He’s nervous but ready, I think. I will miss my daily companion but I’m excited for him to experience new things. I trust my child will be forthcoming about everything that goes on at school (he’s that kind of kid) but I’m now left without a child to take to my mom’s group meet-ups (they usually meet in the mornings). I could attend by myself but it kind of feels like a graduation. Going back just isn’t the same. Fortunately, I’ve made some great connections that I will continue to nourish and I can now look forward to forging new friendships with other moms of kindergarteners and participating in the classroom as a room mother, just as my mom did for me.

I have become so used to talking to him that I wouldn’t be surprised to be perceived as the crazy lady at the store talking to herself. If you see such a person, imagine that it might be another mom whose child just started school like mine. No, really, we’re just used to having little ears listening to us! Funny, I remember how awkward it was when I began talking to him as a baby and he wasn’t able to respond. Boy did that backfire, now I have a chatterbox with a big vocabulary he can use to sass me. Moms of infants, take note! I hope he can put it to good use in the classroom but I suspect I may be getting some calls from the teacher.