4-H Cows, Cooking, and Patience

4h

I was reminded of 4H last month when my daughter was trying to get her TSA (Technology Student Association) project done in time for state competition. Her project was a children’s book about science. She only had the entire school year to get her book and the accompanying paperwork complete. But for some reason we were at school Saturday evening trying to get everything copied and digitized and saved and ready to go before leaving for state conference the next morning. She kept waiting for me, I think, to get angry. And of course I was becoming more and more annoyed as she discovered more requirements that she had overlooked in getting her project ready. But I kept remembering working on my 4H record book, filling out the last of the boring paperwork required for each project before its entry in the fair. “This has to be done today!” my parents repeated.  “Projects go in tomorrow!” I swore loudly to my parents that each year would be my last. I also remembered my mother at my dad’s office, typing my essay on one of the typewriters as I decoded my handwriting for her; we were there until one o’clock in the morning sometimes. These 4H projects and school assignments could have easily been done before the last minute. It’s really only at this point in my life, 30 years after I closed my last 4H record book, that I actually try and generally succeed at getting things done before the last minute. So while I was as annoyed as all get out at my girl child, I kept remembering my own last-minute experiences and my patient mother typing away at dad’s office, and I managed to keep my cool.

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