The Kickapoo County Fair, and Musings on Fitting In.

Oh, how I love this fair. The kids tent, the face paints, the maple cotton candy, the fabulous organic food. And the friends, community, and speakers – the connection.

We spent eight hours there on Sunday. Eight. Laughing hard, hanging with some of our best friends (big and small), being inspired, and playing in the mud. I can't think of a better way to spend a hot, sunny Sunday than this.









As I reflected on why I love the fair (and this region) so very much, I came up with a simple theme: normalcy. I am totally, utterly normal here. At Shannon Hayes's talk she mentioned that they homeschool. We chatted about it at her book signing after her talk and she said that they are unschooling (as are we), and that there is not a single family in her community doing the same. No unschoolers. No homeschoolers. And here, we're pretty normal. Watching a performance in the kids area I noticed that we were surrounded by dozens of homeschooling friends, and dozens of schooling friends too. Normalcy.

We came to the fair after spending Saturday at my family reunion. I adore my family. I loved seeing everyone and having a chance to reconnect after time apart. But truth be told, my kids and I don't exactly blend in in a family reunion setting. (You might have guessed that. Maybe many of you are in the same boat.) We live a different reality with a different set of values and a different version of our soul's truth. And I'm good with that. But spending yesterday at the fair I felt a deep appreciation for not having to explain why we've chosen the path that we have, be it unschooling, media-free childhood, organic-food, or a DIY lifestlye.

Thank you, family, for accepting us with all of our quirks. And thank you, Kickapoo region, for letting us blend in without feeling quirky in the least.

16 thoughts on “The Kickapoo County Fair, and Musings on Fitting In.

  1. Jordan says:

    I saw you guys, but I wasn’t sure it was you:) We were playing with the parachute, right next to Sage on Sunday (I recognized him by the picture you just posted). This was our first fair & we had so much fun!!

  2. Jodi Anderson says:

    It’s been ages since I attended the Kickapoo County Fair. Every year, I bookmark a page with all of Wisconsin’s county fairs and we get to as many as possible. So far this year? Zero.

    Must remedy that.

    Have a deliriously happy week. 🙂

  3. Cassandra says:

    I think where you live sounds like a little slice of heaven! I need to take a trip up in that neck of the woods someday! I feel EXACTLY like you do when it comes to feeling normal where we live (Madison) and feeling a bit different when I go back home to the family in Chicago. I’m very glad to hear that you have a family that is open to your life choices, that is so important. It does get tiresome for me to have to hear people at gatherings rambling on about how organic food is all just a marketing ploy and that my children will be stunted in their growth if they don’t eat red meat. Ugh! That’s why building a life, your own chosen life, is the most important thing ever. How can we be happy people if we don’t find our place in this world?

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    Thats not to say that they dont think Im a little crazy. But they appreciate my particular strain of crazyness I guess.  We listen to some Carolyn Myss cds and she talks about feeling gratitude for your tribe being not enough and for you growing beyond their story. Its evolution, right? And there we find our bliss.


  5. Susanne says:

    I see even unschoolers still fall prey to the silly bands craze! They’re like the pogs for a new generation. I’ve found that if I wear one of those things, I have instant street cred with pediatric patients.

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    So funny! They were a gift from his great-great-aunt at our family reunion the day before the fair. We (he) had never seen them before but thought they were fun. Me? I thought they were rubberbands. The aunt filled us all in on the pop-culture weve missed out of in the past decade. (At least the bracelet part.)


  7. lo says:

    Rachel – Isn’t that brilliant when you can attend an event with so many like-minded people? The community is so automatic, and you can just FEEL it.

    Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing — especially since we couldn’t make it to the fair this year~!

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    It clicks when you find your people. Oh, and my apron just arrived. Thank you thank you thank you! SO much more lovely than I ever imagined. Im off to hand the clothes!
    ~ Rachel

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