This is Herschel. This has been Brittnie's main priority for the last few months. It's nearing the end of school show season (I think) and I have not yet posted any stories about this. No I'm not saying I haven't said or posted anything about it on social media sites because if you know me you have already seen a few posts. I can't help it. She amazes me (almost daily).
This has been a huge learning experience for my girl. I love what it has done for her. Anyone that knows Brittnie knows her unquenchable love for animals (of every kind) so it was really no surprise when entering her first year of high school that she chose AG as one of her classes. Now I never took this class in high school maybe I didn't really have what it took to take such a demanding class (maybe its not that demanding, maybe it was just that I grew up in town and any animal other than a dog, cat or occasional turtle freaked me out...I don't know) Looking back there is a few things I would have changed about those years...anyway let me jump back on track...this is about Britt. She was so excited to be taking this class and having the opportunity to participate in FFA but most of all she was excited about getting to show an animal. She chose pig. Not sure why I never really asked her. But her daddy showed pigs in school so maybe he had something to do with that choice. We looked around and called all the farmers we had bought feeder pigs from in the past but no one had any ready when she needed one. Her teacher MR. L. found her one talked the guy down to get us a better price for it. (show hog prices are you kidding me? Come on) We bought a pig a few weeks later than all the other kids in the area and she was small but Britt was sure she would be fine. Britts school does not have the money for an AG barn to keep the kids animals in on property so animals get to live at home with the students. I kind of like this. Britt gets to spend unlimited time caring for her pig and not having to worry about if someone can drive her to the school barn and back. pig needs food? walk out back. pig needs her hair brushed? walk out back. pig need to be walked? walk out back. pen needs cleaned? walk out back. No added miles on the car or time worrying about if you have a ride to care for pig. And really shavings mixed with poo HELLO fertilizer for flowerbeds and garden right there in our own back yard. There have been some draw backs. Because we weren't exactly prepared for "show pig" she has to live outside. She has a house to get inside to protect her from weather, but the cold has had its impact on her weight gain which has hurt Britt in the show ring a little. But that hasn't slowed Britt down. She still gets after it every day.
She regardless of what her peers think this is a pretty amazing thing shes doing. The ones that pick or make fun are not the ones getting up an hour early to go outside in the freezing cold weather to make sure a pig has not frozen water & something warm to eat. These kids aren't getting up at the butt crack of dawn on show day to load a not always predictable animal into the back of a trailer and be at the show early enough to not have to fight a crowd at the wash area to bathe a pig. BATHE A PIG! This seems crazy to me too but she does it. Every single time. I feel like this first year of AG & FFA has already matured her in ways she has not yet noticed herself. She is learning to deal with all types of people, she is meeting lots of new friends while still holding strong to the old ones. She is learning how to behave when all eyes are on you. And learning a level of respect that I don't think any other kids learn if they don't take this class and participate in this organization. Is she still a silly girl with teenage girl drama yes. (sadly there is no miracle class for that yet) But she has changed. When you see her you will see it. She has developed this crazy confidence, dedication to something other than silliness, respect for others, teamwork, leadership and the ability to not care what everyone thinks of her. A lesson it has taken me nearly 40 years to learn. And maybe she doesn't have it in perfect practice (as she fights with her sister like a child almost daily still) but she is changing and I can not wait to see how it all goes for her over the next few years.
I find it funny that every single show Britt has been to Nat is always there. The reason I find it funny is because a pig show is the last place I would have thought Nat would want to be. A little bit of background story on Nat. She is a girly girl in every definition of the phrase. And maybe this is the very reason she and Britt get along as well as they do, ya know that whole opposites attract thing. Nat and Britt have known each other their whole lives. They were pretty destined (or cursed) to be best of friends as Nat's mom and I grew up together too. They are so funny. Britt all dirt, boots and animals and Nat is all neat, skirts and purses. That is where the funny to me part is. It's not what I expected. But Nat has been by Britts side at every show, helping with pig every way she can, gently reminding Britt that Herschel is just glorified bacon and is going to have to visit the butcher soon, organizing the show box because it looked messy and out of order.(a job she has to do every single time messy Britt gets in the box (poor girl, just like her momma) She always makes sure Britt looks her absolute best before going into the show ring right down to her FFA tie being straight and her shirt tucked in properly. Always there to help with hair and make up. And last but not least she is always there to sit in the stands while Britt is in the show ring saying a little prayer, holding her breath...waiting to see if the judge likes what he sees with a gentle reminder that no matter what the judge says and no matter what place he gives her and her pig she always has someone waiting to tell her she did a great job. Someone not her parents that push and push for her to do her best. But someone on her level understanding the hurt when the judge doesn't pick any better than 5th or the excitement when he picks 3rd for your pig. Someone that is always willing to listen to why it makes you mad without trying to make you feel bad for not doing better. This is what I see Nat doing for my Britt at every show. I don't know if they see all this but I do. I see the most amazing support system my girl has in one person. Don't read that wrong, Britt has a huge support system I mean after all her dad, Mr L. and a ton of others have nearly bent over backwards to help her to succeed in this organization. But for emotional support, Nat gives at a level that I as mom can't. I'm gonna hate it when showing is done if Nat doesn't come over as often. (but she has to come over for breakfast because we gotta have some of that "glorified bacon" right?)
One of my favorite "show moments" Sperry FFA kids presenting our country's colors while the National Anthem is being sung before the show this past Saturday.
Only 2 shows left. Britt and her pig may not be doing as well as others we know and have met but let us not forget that this is her first year and for that she seems to be doing better than some thought she would. And I don't just mean placing with the pig. She is a different girl than she was 6 months ago when she walked into Ag class. Wanna know the cool part...she has so much more to learn & the best is yet to come.
Thanks for reading
Have a great day!