I took Meg to the Mother-Daughter retreat and it was AWESOME. As I said yesterday, it was at the camp where my sister is the director of programming. She invited all the women in our family to come. I went back and forth on whether to bring Margaret and I am so glad I did. I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time and so did Meg. She LOVED it. The camp attendees were mostly pre-teens and their moms and they all thought Meg was the cutest thing they’d ever seen. I think this was mainly because of her personality – she is not shy at all. During chapel, she’d run around, go up and down each row, and smile at every single person. You know how you can be listening to a speech and no matter how well-written and meaningful it is, you can only listen for so long before you start to get restless (especially since all of the chapel sessions were at either late in the evening or early in the morning)? Everyone said Meg livened up chapel. She’d run by each person every so often and get them to smile and wake up a little. Her joy was infectious.
Of course I wouldn’t normally let her roam free and disrupt people during what is supposed to be a meaningful time. Before the first chapel started, I sat way in the back with Meg. The speaker for the weekend came to us and made us move up. She said Meg wouldn’t bother her, no matter how loud or rambunctious she got. She said to let her roam the crowd – it would give the conference attendees AND the speaker (her) a smile. I still felt like she was bothering people, but many people came up to us to specifically say how much they liked it. I figured since we were at a mother-daughter retreat, it was unlikely there were people there who didn’t like children.
For the weekend there were four different “tracks” you could choose from: scrapbooking, crafting, horsemanship, and sports. My sister was in charge of sports, but not enough people signed up so they cancelled it, giving her a lot of flexibility for the weekend. Saturday morning, while my mom and I did crafting, my sister took Meg. They visited the horse barn, checked in on the scrapbookers, visited us in the craft room, sampled what the kitchen was preparing, and ran whatever errands needed to be done.
That afternoon, I went horseback riding (in a group) while Meg and my sister took a nap in our room. They both slept for 2 ½ hours! As I was riding through the woods, I thought about how I usually go to the basement and watch TV during naptime. Horseback riding through the gorgeous fall-colored woods was exponentially better. After the ride, my mom and I walked around the camp. My sisters and I went to this camp every summer growing up. I think the last time I went was 8th or 9th grade (once you got older than that, you became a junior counselor and I wasn’t interested), so its been over 10 years. It was great to see it again.
Our whole time there was idyllic. Everything about it was great – the crafts, the food, the chapel time, the free time. Meg slept all night in the pack and play and never worried about being separated from me. We pretty much let her run free as long as one of us could see her and she loved it. Meg had I had to leave Saturday night, even though the retreat ran through Sunday, and it made me so sad to leave I almost cried.
When we left, we all agreed we had to come next year, but it obviously won’t be the same. I doubt my sister will have as much free time. I might have a new baby. It just can’t be as perfect again, but I feel really blessed we got to experience this perfect weekend at least once.