Small children sit close to their moms; unsure about what is to happen. One grandma is with her daughter and her two very little granddaughters. They alternate between clinging to mom or grandma. A mother and daughter are in owl PJs ready for a night. Other adults are smiling and chatting.
It was the first night of a Mother-Daughter weekend. I took part in one of these events ages ago when I first returned to Bellingham and was invited by my daughter to attend. It required spending a night. This time, there was a choice: go home for the evening or stay over night in the church where Amelia is an active member.
I went home and slept soundly in my own bed at home, having snuck out the door as the youth were planning where they would sleep – the elevator, the balcony, the main hall, a pew or…… The adults were waiting for their choices to solidify before they found a quiet place, I assume.
I returned in the morning after they had all had breakfast. What a change! The littlest girls were being piggy-backed around the room by older girls, up stairs and down stairs. The “tweens” were now well acquainted and laughing as they ran around, still in their PJs, or dragging each other around in sleeping bags. Young moms watched from the sidelines as their daughters were entertained. Slowly, the grown-ups returned to the gathering circle, sitting around enjoying coffee, or snacks and waiting for the plan for the day.
The book that was shared was Blueberry Girl… advice for all, young and old alike, wishes for a happy life. The group had shared favorite story books the evening before; the list ran from Littlehouse on the Prairie to Secret Garden, books about Helen Keller… and Clifford the Big Red Dog, some old books, some new. Sessions in the small groups on Saturday continued to discuss favorite books and the characters in them. Each person spoke to why the books were remembered.
After lunch the group assembled in the basement of the church for a silk painting event. I must say I wondered how this could be accomplished with some 33 people, aged two to me… (shall I admit to 78?) It was fascinating. Moms helped the young. Some took ideas shared by the teacher, some just took off with whatever they fancied. I was amazed at all of the work. As for me, I have an itch to try it all again.
I left as the silk painting was ending. The retreat will have a closing and gather up the young and their gear and go home after a great weekend. Mothers and daughters… me with my daughter, she with her daughter, now grown and married, and on her own.
Such a nice tradition.