FFA…Your Kids…and Self Entertainment

So I am sitting at the South Coast Regional FFA Leadership Reception.  My daughter Kayla Jo is receiving her State FFA degree and being recognized as the regional sheep proficiency winner. Needless to say, this ain’t my first rodeo.  I have sat through this ceremony even before I had children old enough to be in FFA.  Nolan was very fortunate to have not only accomplished the above, but be honored as the state and national FFA sheep proficiency award. Which is pretty incredible and an achievement that I still marvel at today.
For those of you unaware of the FFA, it is a youth organization built around agriculture.  It teaches leadership, organization, and life skills.  My husband Bobby refers to it as the breeding ground for young Republicans.  They are strong in their beliefs, encourage greatness and build a solid foundation of responsibility.  My life has been surrounded by the organization.  From being a member in high school to living with a past state officer in college, as a young person I thought I had a pretty clear grasp of the FFA.  But follow that up with having multiple agriculture teachers in my family and having two of my three kids go through the program …. I guess one could say “I know a little bit about the FFA”.
But I have veered of course of my blog topic.  And that is, is it so bad that I sit here on my iPad writing a blog during this event?  I love my kids.  I support them with all my heart, soul and pocket book.  But if the truth be told some of the parental supporting functions can sometimes take on the excitement of watching paint dry.  Seriously people, if you can honestly say every little league game, girls softball, show ring moment, awards banquet, has been an on the edge of your seat moment than hats off to you.  And then there are the complete opposite events that exhaust your emotions. For example, your son being the high school quarterback and every play you hold your breath praying, he doesn’t get hurt, he is successful in orchestrating the plan or worst yet that he does not fumble the ball.  So how does one survive these life moments, cherish the memories and celebrate their accomplishments?
Well here is my solutions.
1.  If you know it is going to be long event with periods of down time and a few moments of excitement, then take along your own form of entertainment.  Case in point, I have my iPad today!  And I do not feel one ounce of guilt, but very happy that I am finally finding time to write a blog post.
2.  Be the supporter, not the coach.  I try to constantly remind my kids it is suppose to be fun.  I can not tell you how many times we have had tears ringside to sidelines, and I always remind them that they did great and that remember we are suppose to be having fun.  Unless your kids are curing cancer or solving world hunger, it isn’t life altering if they don’t always come out on top.  The college students I teach are well aware of my motto, “If it won’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter now”. My kids are true competitors.  My gladiator mind set children channel their heart and soul into a passion that is truly remarkable.  Motivation is not an issue, sometimes I feel more like the demotivation cheerleader.  It is suppose to be fun, damn it!
3. Fantasy Island is an ok place to visit, but no one needs to live there full time.  My son can dream up all kinds of goals in his mind.  He has done this since he was born.  The amazing part is most of his fantasies play out almost to script. It is a great gift and I admire his creativity.  However, once again as the mom I need to remind him of reality.  Bringing them back to the real world and pointing out the big picture is important.
4. Finally if all else fails use my solution for most situations.  Just pretend you are starring in your own skit on Saturday Night Live.  It will add humor to the situation and get you through the moment.
(Kayla just received her proficiency award.  I did stop the blog writing long enough to clap, take a photo and cheer her achievement)
Maybe I am way to much a type A person and need to learn to relax for two hours, sit through an event and enjoy the down time.  But, at the fabulous age of 45 I don’t see my core characteristics changing.  And it is not just me. Lilly is sitting her next to me complaining how bored she is, can she play with my iPad, and that she is hungry.  No, you can not have my ipad, you should have brought your own.  Maybe I should have included a fifth suggestion, bring along something to entertain the other siblings who are along for the ride.
Congratulations Kayla Jo…..you little FFA super star!
By the way Lilly just left to walk around the lobby, I wonder if there is a newly painted wall she can watch dry?

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