Thanks be to the saints and angels in heaven, who undoubtedly watched over us yesterday and kept us from killing each other with the scissors or even that little saw-toothed cutting edge on the Scotch tape dispenser: THE 4-H PROJECTS ARE TURNED IN.
Yes. After working like maniacs for the past three weeks and for seven hours -- I kid you not -- yesterday, project turn in day arrived. I can now sleep at night without having nightmares about showing up at the 4-H Fairgrounds and realizing that we'd left all the projects back at home, piled on the dining room table. I'd finally reached the point where I refused to go to Hobby Lobby one more time, even if we ran out of stickies, even if it meant the girls had to mount photographs on their People in My World project boards with old chewing gum they'd collected from under the tables at Waffle House. I was. Not. Go. Ing. Back.
"I think the parents of 4-H kids ought to have Reserve Champion ribbons pinned to their shoulders," I said as we wearily made our way to the exhibition hall where the Fine Arts projects were being checked in.
The only problems we ran into were monumental at first. The girls went to turn in their Travelogue (Meelyn) and Folklore (Aisling) projects, and neither of the people who had been scheduled to check them in had bothered to show up. The person who was there knew nothing about the projects, but she did have some gold-standard advice.
"They're supposed to have project record sheets with these," she said. "But I don't know what those are."
I couldn't help but wonder how she knew they didn't have them if she didn't know what they were, but I was too busy trying to stave off my nervous breakdown with deep breathing exercises to ask.
The four of us ended up in the 4-H office, where we thankfully ran into a head honcho. She listened to our tale of woe, wrinkled her forehead and said, "Project record sheets? I don't think so...." Ms. Honcho ended up affixing sticky notes to the girls' projects that said "PROJECTS O.K. AS IS" with her signature. I taped them to the project binders with TWO pieces of the mailing tape I had in my handbag.
It turned out that signature carried a lot of weight, since a reverential silence fell over the check in table as the girls presented their binders. "Thank you," said the un-helpful volunteer meekly.
And with that, we were done! As free as little birds, we went out and immediately saw Katie, her husband and Beck. Beck told us that her projects were driving her so crazy, she decided to take an incomplete in Cooking. The alternative was to drive the entire family so insane, they'd end up taking her biscuits or cookies or whatever and throwing them at one another. We thought she chose wisely.
Now all we have to do is wait until Thursday, when we get to go see how they did. It's almost as bad as waiting for Christmas.
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