Cancelled. All of them. Some of them. The most important one. The smallest one. The biggest one.
I don’t run any livestock shows anymore. And in the last weeks I’ve never been more grateful for that reality.
I get the stock show life - I literally met my husband in the show ring. We get the disappointment and the work and the emotion that come with all that is happening.
I respect your hurt.
But please be kind. Be careful of how you frame this for your children.
A show being cancelled is not the end of the world, the end of the summer, or even the end of the week. Don’t make it that way for your children.
Do not let your initial emotion frame this as a traumatic event or as something that was “stolen” from your children. It doesn’t have to be that way, if you don’t make it that way.
They are looking at you - at me and other adults - for how to respond.
Right now - there is no “right”’ decision. There is no easy, black and white, clear as mud decision. It’s complicated. It varies HUGELY depending on location. And personal experiences.
It’s easy to call the people making decisions fools or cowards. It’s easier yet when it’s people in government.
It’s much harder to set our emotions aside, consider the complexity of the situation, acknowledge that as individuals we likely do not have all of the facts, and respect the people making the hard decisions. They don’t like them either.
We don’t have to agree with the decisions, but we can still be respectful.
In the stock show industry we constantly claim this isn’t about winning banners. It’s about teaching our children life lessons of hard work, determination, respect, resiliency.
I know this stinks. But let’s step up to that challenge now and teach our children all of those things we claim we are after.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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