Every Labor Day Weekend since I was kid, I have gone to the Goshen Fair in Goshen, CT.
It’s an agricultural fair where they judge chickens and rabbits and cows and horses and pigs and pumpkins and other vegetables and they have rides and games and horse pulls and tractor pulls and tons of food and music and a whole bunch of other stuff.
It’s a good, old fashioned country fair.
Pictures from when we took the kids to Goshen six years ago came up in my Facebook feed this weekend.
Number 3 and 4 were four and five years old.
Number 5 was just a little over a year old.
Number 6 was just a couple months old.
Number 7 wasn’t even born yet.
It’s fun to go those things with little kids.
Yes, it’s great to (re)experience things through a one-year-old’s eyes.
Reliving the excitement of that first time you see a cow through your daughter’s eyes is exciting and sweet and fun.
But it’s also such a fucking production.
There is so much crap to drag along — the strollers and bags and baby carriers and snacks and bottles and sippy cups and diapers and wipes and whatever else you need just to try and get at least a couple hours out of the day.
So fast forward six years to this past Sunday. I didn’t take many pictures.
But there’s Number 5 now, along with Papa and Number 7, watching the woodcutting competition.
And here is Number 4 checking out the sheep with Number 7.
I used to really dread this stage of life. It would literally bring me to tears thinking about the time when I didn’t have any babies anymore.
But this past weekend was a pretty big one.
It was the first time we went to the fair without a stroller (or any other paraphernalia, for that matter).
The only thing I took was a backpack.
All the kids were able to hang. They were old enough to actually maintain a little bit of interest in some of the things that I like to do.
Sure, we went on the rides and went to the petting zoo and did all the stuff the kids like to do.
Bet we also watched the lumberjacks (one of my favorites) for a good hour.
In fact, out of all the kids, Number 7 was the most interested (and also the most pissed that she couldn’t join in the competition).
Once that was wrapping up, we got to sit and watch the horse pull (my other favorite thing) for the first time since bringing the kids to the fair.
In the past, by the time we have gotten to that, some, most or all of the kids are completely in meltdown mode, we have to leave, and I miss the whole thing.
So for those you who may be struggling with your babies growing up and going off to kindergarten or middle school or high school or college, for those of you who can’t even think about those moments without getting a massive lump in your throat, I get it.
But instead of wasting the time you have now while your kids are still young thinking and maybe even stressing about things that are inevitable, enjoy the moments you are in now.
And then, when the day comes, if you need to, mourn the passing of one phase of life for a little bit, and then embrace the changes!
There are lots of great things to come!