I had just returned from wash-rack duty at the Junior National Hereford Expo in Grand Island, Neb.
I rolled up the hose as I always had (not pretty, but effective, as far as I was concerned) and placed it in the show box. I pulled off my rubber boots and waterproof pants and proceeded to grab the comb and brush to help the boys with the next step.
That’s when my husband, Craig, approached. “You know, I think you’d reduce your stress quite a bit by rolling up the hose the correct way.”
Really, the hose wasn’t causing me one tiny bit of stress. (And I may have let Craig know that fact. Maybe.) But I proceeded to watch his demonstration of the “proper way,” regardless.
My fellow show mom and friend observed from across the aisle with a smile. And once my “class” was complete, she shared that she, too, had received the same education from her husband. In fact, his demonstration of the correct way to roll an extension cord is still the topic of discussion with those who have helped with their string through the years.
For the remainder of the week, we would just wink and smile as I was rolling the hose Craig’s way (OK, OK… and maybe rolling our eyes a bit, too).
But that’s the thing about show moms and the friendships formed between us. We "get" each other. We understand each other in ways those outside of the show world simply cannot.
Countless times, I’ve called on a fellow show mom for advice. How to balance the washing and rinsing and showmanship practices with baseball schedules and homework. How to best pack those clothes for a show, and strategically plan the hotel laundry room runs, too. How to stock the show box and first aid kits and snack boxes in a way that doesn’t cause a meltdown in the process.
Those show moms are also the ones who are the first to step forward in the moments when they know the challenges are present. With a text on the county fair sale morning, from hundreds of miles away, sending encouragement to get through the day. With a phone call on the day when you’re just not sure how you’re going to get it all done, and that momma patience is at the breaking point.
With an understanding smile on show morning, when you’re just trying to keep the little ones out of the way while the heifer is being fit. And tension is, shall we say, a bit high.
I’d say Craig and I make a pretty good team, and it takes us both to make this crazy family life work.
I’m also willing to bet that most show moms would agree – it takes those gal friends in the barn to survive this life, too.
Show moms: you’re “my people.” We love and support and understand each other in a way like no other. Truly, I’m so thankful for you.
And if you’d like a lesson on how to correctly roll a hose, come on by. I’m sure Craig could teach you, too.