As I've shared, I've got a lot to learn when it comes to 4-H. Honestly, I thought turning in my daughter's photography project would be something I could SO handle by myself...ok, my daughter was there to help...thank goodness! Or this mama would still be roaming the halls of an unfamiliar building.
Once we found where the projects were supposed to be, we were off on another journey....to wait for the judges! Okay, this should be the easy part, right? Remember I know NOTHING about 4-H and apparently I have a problem with following directions.
A nice volunteer asked if we were going to wait for the judge's critique. I nodded, and she pointed me in the right direction. Little did she know that following directions was way out of my league. I walked around the corner just like I was told while my daughter patiently declared "You're going the wrong way." That's not possible. I'm a MOM...I always know what I'm doing.
Maybe there should be a Are-You-Sure-You-Can-Be-A-Mom test before you decide to raise children. Then, I would've known that I had A LOT to learn! See, trying to find the end of the line was somehow beyond my capabilities!
Using my built-in homing beacon, I located the correct line...or so I thought...and politely told my patient daughter to take a seat in one of those tiny, only 5-inches from the ground chairs. Mind you, everyone in line was either standing or sitting on the floor. Did this trigger flashing lights and warning sounds in my head? Of course not. I'm a MOM, and I always know what I'm doing.
As I looked at the empty table, I thought how nice of these people to save us a seat. To put aside their own needs and assume a spot on the hard, cold ground just so my daughter and I could be quite comfortable at our own cozy table. They must have known we walked 15,924 miles in pouring down rain all the while trying to protect this first year 4-H member's project.
As we sat down, my daughter started mumbling. Her face displayed a look of pure disgust and embarrassment. I tried to ease her mind by stating "This IS where we should be. I just know it." Again, her head stayed low while she scanned the room for someone she could use as a foster mother 'cause this woman was completely clueless!
Granted, everyone in the room was secretly staring at us. Of course they were. They were impressed by my great skill and knowledge...how I was able to find a table and chairs while they endured the comfort of standing on carpet covered cement. They were SO wondering why didn't we think of that?!
Needless to say, I gathered up my humility and moved to the proper placement in line. This is where we were joined by veteran 4-H members who knew WAY more than I. They were throwing out 4-H terms left and right...none of which I understood. They were nervous about critique. They were eager to share their insights with the world. To say the least, I was completely out of my element once again...and it was only 9:00 in the morning! I thought raising three kids was difficult. This moment just trumped it!
The friendly life-long members conversed amongst themselves sharing their morning routines and excitement for the upcoming week. One insightful individual declared how she read the bible before starting the day. I was impressed for she had read her daily devotion and was willing to share. I turned an ear her direction in order to pick up on her wise words. To this, I heard "Yep, I read the 4-H bible!"
What is this book you speak of? A compilation of words stating what you should do and not do during 4-H. Do you think it was apparent that I didn't read said book? I'm thinking no.
Thankfully, everyone was kind and guided this clueless mother as she learned the ropes of 4-H. Otherwise, I'm certain that said project would have never made it to the judge's table on time and would've been disqualified. Can you imagine how fun that would've been to smooth over with my daughter? She's already questioning my parenting skills. That would've pushed her over the edge!
*Note: I'll probably be featured in next year's 4-H manual on a page entitled "What not to do."
*Another Note: My husband was in charge of the remaining projects, which was more than a blessing. How do you think I would've done with finding the correct rabbit amidst hundreds and placing it on the judging table in a timely manner? Following directions...not my greatest asset.