The Wash Rack
Watching my kids show their animals in the ring is super fun! I love it. I love watching the culmination of so much hard work out there under the lights. However, when they're all finished with this junior livestock showing, it won't be the part I really miss. I will miss the wash rack.
Anyone can show up to watch what happens in the show ring. Walking to the wash rack at 6:30 a.m. on show day with coffee in hand, cracking jokes and cutting up... Well, that's a privilege I do not take for granted. Those are the kind of memories I'll be looking back on when I'm old.
I'll remember being silly when we are spreading bedding, tears in my eyes on disappointing walks back from the arena, tears in my eyes when these kids are making me laugh, accidentally taking the long route to the tie-outs (and not being sorry about it at all), making sandwiches from the ice chest, and dancing in the aisles late at night. I will remember our youngest in a pack-n-play at shows when she was a baby, my oldest calling me from the trailer because she caught her hair on fire with a propane heater, and my middle child getting showmanship lessons from another parent behind the ag barn (right before winning his first showmanship). I'll remember sprinting back to here or there to fetch forgotten items right before a class (usually a ring card). I'll remember sitting in lawn chairs in a barn with the people I love most in the world right beside me, in those moments between hurried preparations when time stands still for a while and the world is simple and perfect.
So, if you see me following one of my kids to the wash rack on show day, carrying our bucket and hose, don't for one second think I'm JUST washing animals. If you see me walking out with wet pants from accidentally getting sprayed with water (EVERY dang time!), don't you feel the least bit sorry for me! My shoes may be soaking up water, but I'm in there soaking up every precious moment with my kids. I know how quickly this time goes by, and I know the wash rack is what I'm really going to miss.