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.