“Smile!”  I snap a photo of our award-winning children each cradling one of our backyard chickens in their arms.  The chickens seem to know it’s a big moment and look my way.  Our eldest has a first place ribbon dangling from her index finger for the best overall Polish Top Hat cockerel.  Our son has looped his 1st place ribbon over the neck of an Australorp hen.  Our youngest adjusts her wiggly chicken careful not to drop her 2nd place ribbon for the pullet class.  I glance over at my husband, an alumni of 4-H, who, to this day, still finds ways to remind us of all his childhood 4-H experiences and awards.  As I expected, his face is beaming with pride as his children follow in his footsteps.  “I’m so proud of y–o—uuuuu!” he says hugging our youngest daughter, squishing the chicken between them.  “Dad,” she humbly corrects, “Don’t be proud of me.  Be proud of Bing-Bong!”  I guess she’d correct me too and say the snapshot I just took is of our children holding some award-winning chickens.

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