It belongs to my son, and I’ve spent half my cattle-show-mom life keeping track of the thing. Anyone else with me?
Show box, truck, camper, truck, chair, show box, truck, repeat, because he can’t keep it on. And it is never where we need it.
It started two years ago, at junior nationals. He’d whip it off as soon as he got done showing. “But it hurts my stomach, Mom.” I get it. I do. But then he’d leave it in 97 random places.
Thanks to social media, it’s clear we’re not alone. I posted about this little phenomenon a couple of years ago, and my friends came out of the woodwork to declare they, too, spent overwhelming amounts of energy tracking their kid’s belt. One shared that her mom did the same for her brother, which means it’s intergenerational, and that doesn’t give me any hope. Another said her daughter takes it off, saying, “It hurts my feelings.”
Moms had tips, too: Store it in the show box, tuck it into the boots (they usually come off at the same time), or my favorite winter show solution: Wear a vest! Covers up the empty space where a belt should be. No one ever knows.
After a year of occasional social media posts — the belt in the show box, on his actual body just before showing, high and dry during the epic 2016 Illinois State Fair flood — friends have declared #thebelt should have either a Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker to track it, or its own Twitter account. Or maybe a children’s book.
They’ve also started asking Nathan about it. Last year at the state fair, after 64 people asked him if he had his belt on, he started maintaining a lower profile. Or in other words, he started keeping track of his belt, so I didn’t have to! I’m here to testify, that may be the best thing to come out of Facebook.
Where is the belt now? No idea. All I know for sure is that it’s not on his body.