Just Mom Fair time means time for memories | TheUnion.com

Just Mom Fair time means time for memories

It’s that time of year. The trucks have rolled in. Rides are being assembled. Vendors are stocking their booths, and the livestock exhibitors are hauling in their animals.

The Nevada County Fair begins tomorrow. The smell of pine trees, cotton candy, and children pulling on their parents’ arm begging for another ride. Buildings filled with hopes of ribbons, and barns of bawling animals waiting to be petted.

For mothers with young children, a day at the Nevada County Fair can be exhausting. You wake up in anticipation of the day. Dress your children in their “fair” outfits and call your friends to finalize a location on where you “all” will meet. You pack everything you are going to need for this day. Diaper bag, change of clothes, crackers, etc., and then before even putting the children in the car, you go over the rules.

“Now, when we’re at the fair, we don’t wonder off. We hold each other’s hand, and we don’t talk to strangers.” Immediately following is that question mothers have been asking their children for centuries, “Do you understand?” They nod and we pray they truly do.

By the time you enter the fair, exhaustion is already setting in. The Ferris wheel or the carousel? Cotton candy or a corn dog? The children want both. They want to eat the cotton candy while riding on the Ferris wheel. The best part is when you’ve waited in line for 35 minutes to ride their favorite ride, and right before it’s your turn to get on, your child reaches for your shirt, gives it a tug and yells, “I’ve got to go to potty.” You ask, “Can you wait until the ride is over?” “NO!”

As you’re walking to the restroom, you ask all the other children if they need to go also. They all say “no.” As soon as you get back to the ride, inevitably another child has to go. It’s a never-ending circle.

An older child always seems to talk his mother into letting him ride that “big” ride. “No, I won’t get sick. I promise.” They wait in line, he rides the ride … he walks over to you and says, “I don’t feel well.”

Within moments both mother and child are looking around for a place where he can deposit the cotton candy he had eaten earlier. While they are running for that spot, mom is reaching in her diaper bag, pulling out that extra shirt she knew to pack.

After a few hours of rides and food, it’s now time to visit the animals. Gathering the children, you walk through the barns. With each barn comes numerous questions and statements.

“Mom … what’s that smell?”

“Mom … what do goats do?”

“Mom … do we really eat pigs?”

“Mom … why can’t I ride the cow?”

“Mom … where’s the milk?”

“Mom … that’s an ugly chicken.”

“Mom … I don’t have a jacket made of sheep!”

Hitting the breezeway, you make your way through some of the exhibits. By this time the children are exhausted. Before you know it you are carrying one, holding the hand of another, and pushing the stroller with your hip. All you want now is to find your car, but where did you park? Hobbling through the parking lot, you find your car and then put the children in their car seats. You put their belongings in the trunk and set yourself quietly in the front seat.

Turning on the ignition, you turn to see that your children have all fallen asleep. You notice that these are not the same children they were a few hours earlier. They are no longer filled with hopes of the day, but are now dreaming of their day. Moments soon become memories, and are what our children need the most.

I pray that this week parents take a moment to make a memory with their children.

And, to all those who come together to make Nevada Country Fair so special, thanks for the memories.



Gina Gippner is a Penn Valley resident and mother of three. She can be reached via e-mail at justmom@nci-services.com or computer chat at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/justmom/

Her column appears every other Tuesday, alternating with Mike Drummond’s column from Clear Creek Ranch.

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