Right now my world is consumed by the county fair. I literally eat sleep and breathe it.
When people ask if we are ready for school, my answer is after the fair we can think about it.
When my daughter asks about some future event, my answer is after the fair we will discuss it.
Fair fair fair!
It’s a crazy, fun, emotional time. These young people who have worked incredibly hard may succeed greatly, or if their animal has a bad day, they may fall hard.
There are big smiles, tears shed and a whole lot of sweat!
As the temperatures soar to non stop triple digits with little relief, competitors and livestock are strained.
But what you may have missed, is the friend who jumps out of their seat to hug a crying showman.
You might miss the comraderie of the 4-H youth that stops their joyous victory smile to lay a hand on another and wipe their tears.
I was sharing with a friend a story about when I was younger at my great uncle’s funeral at a cemetery in Queens, NY.
As we were mourning, there was a man honking his horn for us to move our vehicles.
I am incredibly proud none of my family hurt this person.
But witnessing the love and respect at the fair shows me even more the beauty of raising our children to think of others, to be there for each other in selfless ways.
The man honking his horn during a funeral or the endless stream of new stories where a referee is pepper sprayed, a coach punched, a young player telling off their coach, all self centered frustration and all inappropriate responses. And all very self consuming.
Once my father took a tire iron to a man who took his parking spot. It took five police officers to get him to release the man.
I grew up learning fists before words. And I am no saint. But I am sharing my heart in the hopes it helps someone else.
Last week I mentioned one child at a time. Well that also means one parent at a time.
And I am here to say I fail at this sometimes. Do you?
My daughter is watching me. And my temper has to stay in check because in the end none of this is worth it if she grows up to throw fists before words. To be ugly instead of kind.
Today I am often silent not as agreement with someone else’s behavior but as strengthening my trust in myself and teaching my daughter a better way as well. Just a few breaths and walking away can do wonders, talking it through with a friend. Naps too if you can get them. LOL Not sure when that will happen for us.
And remembering the goal - to raise strong, confident children who are kind and respectful.
None of us are going to get it right all the time. But hopefully with a little grace and allowance for others,we are raising them well.
So in this awful heat that is taking it’s toll on us all, throw kindness like confetti. Go out of your way to help someone.
Be selfless sometimes. The world needs more of that.
While not taking care of our own needs makes us vulnerable to offenses and anger, sometimes life is like that. We can be stressed by heat, relationships and more. I guess that is the true test. How are you when you are at your worst? And is someone beside you lovng you anyway?
When I see my daughter able to blow off someone’s anger and laugh, I smile. When I see she is handling situations better than I ever did, I smile. When I see her kindness to others shine, I am proud.
There are many parents out there who are jealous of their chidlren becoming better than them. They purposely take them down to feel better about themselves.
Raising my daughter to be better than me, that’s more precious than gold. Showing her how I work through situations, falling apart and getting back up again, important too.
How will we do by the end of this triple digit heat wave-stressed-exhausted-wore out-fair week?
I can’t say yet. But I hope a few things go your way and you get the chance to raise somebody up.
Isn’t that the point of all of this anyway?
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Dale Lee Simmons passed away on July 30, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the age of 81. He was born on February 23, 1941, in Pratt, Kansas, to John and Theda (Carr) Simmons.
Dale grew up in Pratt, Kansas until he was seven years old. The family then moved to Hartman, Colorado,where he played basketball for the Hartman Bears. Dale graduated with the class of 1959, the last class to graduate from Hartman. He was united in marriage to Frances Leah Dennis on August 30, 1959. To this union, four children were born.
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Dale is survived by his wife, Frances Simmons of the home; four children, Denise (Bob) Fazzino of Canon City, Colorado, Dennis (Jackie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, Dean (Jessie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, and Donna (David) Woodward of Port Orchard, Washington; eight grandchildren, Melissa Swope Woodward, Jeremy (Lindsey) Woodward, Dustin (Grace) Simmons, Kayla (Jason) Kirkpatrick, Dawn (Sean) Kelley, Sean (Krissy) Woodward, Gayle (Clay) Tatum, and Erin (Burley) Jerina; 18 great grandchildren; brother, Robert (Mary Rita) Simmons of Lamar, Colorado; sister, Ginger (Andy) Pittman of Arkansas; many other relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Karen Cook; and stepfather, Herschel Melton.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or the Town of Hartman in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052. To leave online condolences, please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.
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