I used to complain about the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
When I was in high school, I was so above all that country nonsense. It was stupid, and it cramped my interesting teenage life (although I can’t remember just how).
I ignored the Farm Show for many years, ambivalent but not longer inconvenienced.
And then I had kids.
Grace loves animals. She loves county fairs and craft shows and all kinds of festivals. She lives for them.
Grace knows when the Farm Show is happening. We see just enough tv news for her to be aware of the coming events in our community.
asking harassing me about going for at least two weeks. It didn’t even start until this past Saturday.
I knew I couldn’t manage my clever and inquisitive 4-year-old who is seriously afraid of strangers, my crazy and unafraid 1-year-old who does not yet understand the concept of following directions, and all of our gear including the stroller and diaper bag among throngs of people and farm animals.
And pig poop, which smells much worse than any other kind of poop.
I asked Joe to take an afternoon off and come with us to the Farm Show.
We spent the entire day today at the Farm Show. We stayed longer than we’ve ever stayed.
We gazed in awe. We met Punxsutawney Phil and fed butterflies.
We learned about long-horned beetles and poisons and frogs and raptors. We asked questions, and we soaked up all the answers.
We admired miniature landscapes and greenhouses. We listened to a pig auction and tried to decipher the auctioneer’s words.
We milked a pretend cow, collecting water in a bucket from real-feeling teets.
We watched chicks hatch and ducklings swim and pigs march off to auction. We did not discuss the ramifications of being purchased by Hatfield Quality Meats.
We pet lots of rabbits and pigs (and a few horses and alpacas and goats and cows).
We played mini golf and Farm Show Detective and bean bag toss. We painted produce and played with animal masks and corn kernels.
We drank milkshakes and ate fried cheese and pulled pork and apples and pizza.
We drove tractors and measured ourselves against their huge wheels.
We laughed at snoozing piggies and carousel rides.
We walked. Oh, how we walked.
By the time we got home, Grace was sleeping, Allie was yelling, and Joe and I had melted into our heated seats, completely unable to get up.
I can’t wait for next year’s Farm Show.
© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.