From the editor: Oh that my babies grow up to be cowboys (and girls)
I know that’s not how the song goes.
Ed and Patsy Bruce (and more famously Willie and Waylon) surely thought the opposite, or so the famous tune conveyed. But, after my wife and I welcomed Meade baby number six into the world this past Sunday, I found myself thinking the opposite this week.
I’ve told you before, I grew up in big cities. And, while I’ve certainly enjoyed melting into rural America more recently, I can’t claim I’ve left behind many of my more big-city tendencies and proclivities.
I’m happy to see a sushi or poke bowl place on the corner when I’m in the city; I don’t mind the proximity to exhibits of more distant displays of arts and cultures; and I have to admit, I’ll take rock, alternative and even the right kind of rap before I get into most brands of country-western music.
But I’m several steps past simply learning to love what it is folks who grew up country love about these types of places. But still, I’m amazed every day it seems by the beauty and goodness of what you find in a place like Craig. And this week was no exception.
I was suitably impressed this week as I watched some of our local youth compete for banners and ribbons as they handled their beloved livestock, the latter the evidence of months and months of work and years of training.
I saw poise. I saw grace under pressure. I saw the joy that comes from putting in the work and reaping what you sow.
It’s true what they say that winning isn’t everything, too. While I enjoyed witnessing the emotions that came with victory, I was hopeful that the satisfaction that comes with effort and perseverance was present as well. Those were some spectacular animals on display this week, and to think that these were children in charge of their care and preparation is simply an incredible thing, whether they won their classes or championships or not.
And as I watched that and tried to envision the energy and time that had gone into being ready for this moment in early August, I thought of my little flock.
I don’t know if we’ll ever have the land or the resources or the time or the expertise to raise my children to show steer or pigs or goats or even dogs. But I do know that what these young livestock handlers have, I want for my kids.
Our brand-new baby is named after me. I’m a little embarrassed about it, but proud all the same. I don’t expect little Cuy or any of his brothers to grow up to be literal cowboys, or my little girls to grow up to be actual cowgirls, though if they did I’d be perfectly pleased. But in a figurative sense, I hope to see them grow like these fine youngsters I saw this week at the fair did and are.
I hope you’ll help me, Craig. In no small part, that’s why we’re here.
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