Thursday, June 23, 2011

The rules...

We went to the Miami County 4-H fair last night. Ate the best supper we'd had all week, watched the Clogging Clovers, talked to people. Went through the merchants' building and through the exhibit building. I had two blue ribbons on my entries, but I think they give most of us adults blue ribbons just so we won't feel bad.

We walked around, looking at photography and gorgeous cake decorating and things constructed from Lego blocks. Since I sew, I slowed down to look at the apparel projects. One skirt jumped out at me--well, not literally, but I noticed it right off. It was lavender. Kind of shiny. Kind of swirly. Everything I love about little girls.

And it didn't have a blue ribbon, but a red. I squinted at the judging sheet and read that the project hadn't met all the requirements. Oh.

I was disappointed. Not in the skirt, or in the little girl who sewed it, or even in the judge who made the decision the rules say she's supposed to make. What disappointed me that 4-H rewards following the rules more strongly than it does outcome. I've raised children, I know rules are necessary--sort of--but I think joy is necessarier.

You know, the kind you find in a shiny, swirly, lavender skirt.

I think she should have gotten a blue ribbon.



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