My feet hurt, and my body aches, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My lips are chapped, I’m covered in dirt;
My work week has nothing on our weekend work!
On my days off, I’m up before the sun, helping my kid get the job done.
We are learning together as we go, headed out early, to just one more show.
Washing, blowing, clipping, and shearing, baas, moos, & lots of squealing.
The progress must pause, the animals must eat; fill them up, with ten more hours on our feet;
Back to the stand for blocking & fitting,
“what are you doing??” No time for sitting!!
Check the schedule, who’s up next in the class? Better spray him down, and get to the ring fast!
Up to the gate, standing in the long crowded line, I whisper to myself, “they’re going to do just fine.”
They’ve worked so hard for this moment. They look great, there they go, my money and my kid, through the gate.
Did she watch the last class close enough?
Oh my, this Judge looks like he’ll be tough!
Set his front feet..Now, do it again. Stop the fidgeting if you’re gonna win!
I say a few prayers, cross my fingers, OH I can’t look!
I just keep thinking back on what getting here took.
My baby has worked for months on end,
She’s done everything we’ve told her and THEN……..
The Judge, so serious, starts pulling them 3.. 2.. 1…;
But WAIT, are they on the bottom, or has she just won?
Parents around me are biting their nails,
Surely they feel like me, I want to bail!
But I can’t walk away, I can’t turn my head, I wanna see her finish, last is what I dread.
I just can’t stand to see the tears if she is last, because I’ve known that helpless feeling in the past.
The Judge is reaching for his mic,
Oh I hope it’s them that he likes.
He’s finished his lengthy reasons, and sets the mic down,
I wonder whose hand he’ll shake, as he walks around?
Right beside my sweet precious child, he stands,
In slow motion, he reaches out his hand;
I try to take pictures, but I can’t stand still!
This is THE moment, and remember it, we will;
A purple banner to hang on her wall, but that’s not what it is about at all.
The memories we’ve made traveling the state, are many & precious, it has been great.
The good friends we have made to and fro, and the showmen we see wherever we go.
The superb work ethic she has been taught, the apologies she made when we fought;
The stress to get things done, mile after mile,
The laughter we shared, and all of the smiles;
The torn jean emergencies, safety pin mishaps,
The valuable lessons we learned, knowledge we lacked;
The “big girl” stuff like loading the slaughter trailer and the people she now knows will never fail her.
The drive to be better than the day before, and the desire to help others even more.
Using her head, her heart, health, and hands, to value what greatness comes from the land.
I wouldn’t trade my sore feet or dirty jeans, my broken nails, or calluses for anything.
Nothing makes you more proud & alive,
Then knowing your kid has that kind of Drive!
Editor’s Note: This poem and post was submitted by Lisa Strong.