The moral of the story

You’re going to have to forgive me. I’m about to get completely sappy and joyful and melancholy all rolled into one very blessed package of teary-eyed motherhood. Why? Because I am so thankful for what I see in these photos.

We’re fresh back to normal from a week at the county fair. It was hot and dusty and tiresome. The laundry room may never recover. There’s a ring around my bath tub from a little boy whose favorite toy is filth in all its forms. A week of midnight hours and early morning risers made for occasionally cranky and cantankerous kids. But it’s worth it — every single moment. In the midst of oppressive heat there were days of rain and cool air (finally!). In the middle of barns full of animals and crowds and competitions — and the entrance gate Nazi but that’s another story for another day — there was reformed family life.

In the midst of it all there was joy. Smiling, happy kids learning responsibility and care-taking and compassion. They also argued and bickered and got angry with each other. Don’t think for a minute that it’s all sweet-smelling hay and shiny blue ribbons — it’s certainly not.

But there is peace, too.

Boys, Jerseys, fair

There is an understanding down deep in the souls of these kids that involves family and friends and animals and earth. There’s a community spirit, competitive though it may be. Can they put it into words? Probably not now and maybe never. But you can see it in their faces and sense it in the way they greet the rest of the world.

There are memories being made here, young people shaped and sculpted and formed.

There is freedom and laughter and independence.

There is safety, contentment and relaxation.

There are comparisons made involving loose teeth!

And there are friendships … bonds … kinship.

There are family ties and cohorts and conspirators.

There is beauty that has absolutely nothing to do with outer appearance, but absolutely everything to do with the language of hearts and souls.

Forgive me if I stare too deeply at faces or contemplate expressions with too much intensity. I am overwhelmed by the blessings that surround me and mine, them and theirs. The wrongful, ugly, cold, hard ways of the world cannot outshine the good — the genuine beauty that is here if we seek it with open hearts and minds and eyes and ears.

Treasures. These are priceless moments that cannot be planned or replicated. These are the things that matter most … the only things worth having … the components that make up a beautiful life.

Don’t let them pass by unnoticed.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Tracy Flanagan July 23, 2012 (8:54 pm)

    As usual, beautiful words! You always have just the right words to say. Thank you for reminding me why we put ourselves through the 4-H and fair thing every year. I knew there was a reason why we keep going back!

  • comment-avatar
    Sal July 23, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    Well said, happy Mom! Such happy memories they will have of these events. What fun we had as young people in 4-H!

  • comment-avatar
    Becky July 24, 2012 (10:50 pm)

    Beautiful! And even more so when seen through your momma eyes:)

  • comment-avatar
    vickie aka crazy goat lady July 26, 2012 (9:09 pm)

    Bless you and yours for reminding me of all the blessings in my life.

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  • comment-avatar
    Buckeyemom July 12, 2013 (7:35 am)

    :’-) Happy tears! Those are great photos… Here’s to another year of Fair, Friendships, Family, and FUN! NO, it is NOT all roses, but there is so much about life being learned in the next week. 🙂 I’m off to go help bathe pigs and CHICKENS…. with a SMILE of course! I am sure there will be smiles all ’round! 🙂