General,  Stock Show Life

Stock Show Mom

She’s up late with the last load of laundry, waiting on the good socks that don’t end up in the toes of the show kid’s boots.

She hangs the rest of the show clothes by the door. Ironed and ready. Belt and boots to match.

She packs the show day snack bag. She even throws in some fruit just to make herself feel good. She makes sure the show day cooler is stocked with drinks that don’t leave the show kids with blue or purple faces.

She’s in the barn working hair. Rinsing and brushing. ProHair and her favorite scotch comb are her preferred tools. A mixture of new innovation and old-school proven results. She scours the Weaver website shopping like other women shop Amazon.

She’s the first to chase a wayward lamb, heifer, or kid (human or goat), that attempts to escape. She’ll side-step, run and yes, dive like a basketball player after a loose ball just to get the animal under control.

She’s fixes boo-boos and ices stepped-on toes. She comforts and hugs. She encourages. She understands. She’s also the first one to tell her show kid to go for it, to jump in, to get the job done. She expects nothing but their best because she gives nothing but her best.

She’s a showmanship coach. Her nerves are abundant when her show kid is in the ring.

She’s quality control making sure the show kids keep blow drying until the calf is actually dry. She reminds them that if they don’t do it right they are only cheating themselves.

She can fit a leg and ball a tail. She loves being under a steer or kneeling by a lamb. Combing, spraying, painting, clipping. Satisfaction is sitting back to look at her results. If fitting is not her thing, she knows who can get the job done.

She’s the voice of reason before the auction. Studying the sale catalogue with thoughts of the show family’s finances on her mind. Then, in the heat of it all, with the heifer in the auction ring and the show kid at her side, she’s the one nodding her head to bid just one more time.

She’s been stepped on, slobbered on, pooped on and peed on; by the show stock – and the kids. She shakes it off because that’s just part of it.

Pajamas and rubber boots are as much a part of her wardrobe as the slacks, coveralls, scrubs, or dresses she wears to her day job. She’d rather be in the PJs and boots.

She’s cool and calm until her show kid is picked on, messed with, or acts up. Then the Momma Cow comes out; anyone who’s ever tried to tag a freshly born calf with the cow on their heels can understand.

She’s the heartbeat of it all. The schedule planner, the rule maker (and sometimes breaker), the disciplinarian of her own kids and, well, all the stock show kids. She’s the chaos coordinator.

She’s got Strong Adhesive under her fingernails. She’s got easy calving bulls on her brain. She’s got a fire in her soul.

She loves a good joke and can out-sarcasm the best in the barn. She accidentally says things that makes her face turn red – more than she cares to admit.

She can tote, haul and carry. She can break, wrangle and show. She’s a pooper scooper, a bucket hauler and a feed sack thrower.

She’s proud of her family. She doesn’t get enough credit. She loves every minute.

She’s a Stock Show Mom

 

-Kelly Thomas

Kelly and her husband, Chad, raise cattle, sheep and two children in the mountains of southwestern Virginia. Their kids are the 4th generation to grow up on the farm and show livestock. Some of the family’s very best days happen in the show barn. Some of their most contentious days happen there too. Kelly believes that a kid will build life-long friends showing livestock. After all, she is the girl that married the boy she met in the show ring. She loves educating children, especially about agriculture. She believes that even if a kid won’t grow up to work in agriculture the kid still needs to grow up to be a knowledgeable consumer. Oh, and that ranch dressing should be considered a food group.

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