Seeing Potential

Caution: Professional Cattle Fitter At Work.
I got to watch my older brother Tim as he groomed this heifer for the Jefferson County Spring Show last weekend and I saw firsthand that he's in a career that fits him like a glove. It might very well be the most unique job you've ever heard of, too; he's a Cattle Fitter who travels nationally and internationally cleaning up, grooming and preparing cattle so that they're fit to show in an Exhibition, at the Fair, or for a Sale. He's always had a keen eye for a winner and, in his position, he has an amazing opportunity to buy and sell some of the best stock in the world. He bought this Red and White Holstein in Oklahoma the Monday prior and brought it back to Wisconsin for this Show. The thing that I marveled at the most was the depth of the brief conversation we had while my nephew Kyle (the 2011 National Holstein Boy!) was leading the calf in his junior class. 

Tim was reflecting out loud about the chance he'd taken on his yearling. He told me that she had a cruddy clip, that her back was plagued with lice bites, and that she wasn't filled out nicely. He was second-guessing his choice to put her in the ring that day, but he added that he was excited about what was going to happen over the next year. He said with confidence that, in a year, she'd be ready and, in fact, she'd be perfect. You see, he knew her great grandmother, so he was familiar with her pedigree and he bought her with the future in mind.
He saw potential. 

In that way, our careers have a connection. Tim does for cattle what we do for kids.  We groom and prepare them, we get them ready, we fit them for the future.  
Listen to Leo On You Tube
Sometimes, there's a late bloomer in the bunch who needs a visionary like Tim that sees them for what they can become. Don't you get excited - LOVE it even - when they start to bloom?  Much like that heifer and Leo, the little tiger in this treasure by Robert Kraus, some kids just need the gift of time. Since we can't tutor maturity, we owe it to them to look into the future to see what they can be and help them realize their potential, in their time. What a precious gift that is! 


  1. We read Leo this week in class and it is one of my favorites! They always fall in love with Leo and want him to be successful. It is such a sweet book.

  2. Thank you Barbara for this lovely post! You are so right about maturity. I have seen children blossom when given time.
    Your brother does have a very unique job! Good for him!
    Literacy Minute

  3. great book. We use it alot to talk about transitioning to the next grade. Some students will take off, others may struggle a little, but they all will find some degree of success if they keep trying,

  4. I love Leo too. Every so often, when I see signs of blooming I like to sniff the air and say, "Do you guys smell that? That's the smell of a blooming reader. I love that smell."
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  5. This is such a sweet book. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers


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