Monday, April 26, 2004

My Brief Vacation

Spent the weekend at a church retreat in Townsend at the Valley View Lodge. My wife had to stay home to take care of some work and other personal responsibilities, so it was dear old dad who "loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly" on Friday...

BrainyBoy and Gigglegirl are, generally, pretty well-behaved when they're together. But as they say, don't push your luck. A weekend together in fairly close quarters can get both of them in a mood and this weekened was no exception. After a particularly trying moment at dinner one evening, I turned to someone and offered this heady, deep observation: "Single parenting sucks". Thank you, good night everyone. Drive safely!

In fact, the person I turned to was Single Parenting (tm) this weekend, as well. Her husband was on a separate spiritual retreat (the same one I was on last fall) and brought up her 7 and 8-year-old boys. Another friend, whose husband was also at that separate retreat, had her 8-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. All four of our sons are good friends, and we tended to stick together through the weekend.

This being said, I have all the respect in the world for Single Parents. Having gone through the trauma of a divorce or death of a spouse, those who are forced by necessity not only to be father and mother - and empart all the separate life-lessons for both of them - but just the ability to consistently divide their attention between two or more kids is nothing short of amazing. There were moments when BB was out on the porch with the boys, and GG was riding a bike around the dinner area. Two seconds later, while I'm watching the guys throwing the football off the balcony I glance around and GG's gone. Three minutes of frantic searching reveal she's playing hide-and-seek from her little friend. In the girl's bathroom.

Well, I would've never looked in there...

Of course, having corralled her, I realize BB and the Boys (sounds like the name of a 60's music group) are chasing each other through the dining area. Lucky I brought my lasso...


GiggleGirl woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat, a powerful thirst, a generous dad and even more generous amounts of the water tossed up right back at me a few minutes later. Shall we say....ick? Apparently the combination of copious amounts of water on an empty stomach did not make for gastronomical peace and harmony, so out it went all over her, the hotel bed, dad, and everything. Well, not to worry - got her cleaned up, some toast in her and some of her old perkiness returned. Dropped her off at the playground and next thing I know she's snarfing Cheetos at lunch. I kept a wary eye on her just in case.

The theme of the lessons for the weekend was on "Conflict" - resolving personal conflict, family conflict, and church conflict. The speaker was the pastor at a local church who was also a brain cancer survivor. He seems to know something of conflict... Interestingly, his wife was the sister of a former college friend of me and my wife - in fact, she was in Camelot that I directed back at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee in 1991. Plus I went to high school briefly with another of her sisters. So, small world....

When we got back this afternoon, both kids were beat. Both hit the sack easily and gratefully. So will I, soon.

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