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Wright Words: My 8-year-old boy suffers a crushing defeat at the county fair

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 4 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Over a delicious caramel apple, I explained that the treat tasted so good because we didn’t have them all the time. If we did, they wouldn’t taste as special.

We discussed his disappointment and I jokingly offered to make him one at home. We could pretend it was real and call his entry a winner, but wouldn’t he rather come back next year and work harder? Wouldn’t he prefer to spend more time on his entry, perhaps choose categories he’s more confident in and win a blue ribbon he’ll know he earned?

“And if I don’t?” he wondered aloud.

Then he'll try again, and again and again until he’s a blue-ribbon winner.

When the fair wrapped, Kason and his siblings went to pick up their entries and ribbons. To Kason’s dismay, he learned that blue ribbon winners also won a cash prize of $3.50. Imagine the look on his face when a volunteer handed his older sister and 5-year-old brother a check.

“I want one of those next year,” he said.

“They’re just like the blue ribbons, bud. They don’t give them to everyone and no one is going to just give it to you. You’ve got to go earn it.”

Something tells me next year's fair will have a different ending. And if it doesn’t, I'm buying both the caramel apple and the fried Twinkie.

Jason F. Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of eight books, including "Christmas Jars," "The Wednesday Letters" and "The Wedding Letters." He can be reached at feedback@jasonfwright.com or www.jasonfwright.com.

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