My kids & I took our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair this weekend. It was, as always, a glorious time: rides, food, animals, and lots and lots of people.
I just love the Fair!
Anyway, I came away with two observations, one positive and one negative, that I wanted to share here.
First, the thing I didn't like so much: somehow I never noticed before that right next to the Kidway (Midway, but with kids' rides) is a church. A church!! And not just one of those Lutheran dining halls that serves strong coffee and cheap breakfasts as a fundraiser; it's an actual church called Crossroads Chapel. Because we were there on Sunday morning (figured there'd be fewer crowds!), we passed right by one of what I now realize is one of several church services that take place on Sundays at the Fair.
I don't think this is a church/state separation problem - according to their website, the Fair is a quasi-state agency that hasn't received any public money or government appropriations since 1949. But still, ugh. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things... but not my favorite, anyway. My kids somehow didn't notice the activity tables set up outside, fortunately, because otherwise they would've wanted to stop by. It's right up there with the Tea Partiers who have balloons and candy. I kind of feel like a mean mama when I say No! You cannot have one of those balloons! But as long as we get stickers from the Democrats, they're happy in the end, and so am I. Hee hee.
But the coolest thing! We stopped by the Miracle of Birth center when a cow was in labor, and my older daughter was fascinated! I was surprised, because she'd been holding her nose and acting all squeamish through all the other animal barns we tried to tour. But this she wanted to see! We found seats on the bleachers and sat and watched the cow's labor for probably half an hour, while she peppered me with questions: What's that coming out now? Is she pooping him out? Why is she pooping? What does the baby eat when it's inside the mama? Does it hurt the baby to be born? Does it hurt the mama? Will it be cute when it comes out? Is that how I was born?!?
We haven't had much of a birds-and-bees talk, and this was a great way to get some of those questions asked and answered at her initiative. We talked about how some animals lay eggs, and other animals' babies are born alive, and I answered all the questions she asked (doing my best to keep it age-appropriate - honest answers, but not too complicated).
I was really proud of her for asking such good questions. It was an especially nice moment out of our lovely day.