Last week found us on holidays, with a job interview in southern Alberta for my husband, a visit to my best friend’s new home, and a weekend at the Catholic Family Life Conference. Now we’re home again, resting, unpacking, and doing laundry. After the heat of most of last week, the cool rain today is nice.
Last year, we made it to a few of the sessions at the Family Life Conference. This year, we arrived on Thursday with most of the other families, and pitched our tent in the shade of some trees. Since we weren’t hungry, we decided to cook supper later. We visited with a few other families and then went to Mass. During Mass, a thunderstorm blew in and rain poured as we dashed back to our tent.
I threw Sunshine in the front of the Jeep to play while I dug through the back of the Jeep for our food. I had the camp kitchen, hamburger helper, pots, and stove ready when I realized there was no fuel. A picture rose in my mind of our little red fuel bottle sitting in the garage—not in the house, with the rest of the camping stuff that I had quickly packed nearly a week ago. As the rain dripped down on me, I looked at our boxes of noodles and canned soups and thought about a weekend without a stove.
Thankfully, our neighbours lent us their stove for that evening, and we quickly heated up some soup. Then I dove into the tent with Sunshine, who promptly freaked out. We haven’t been camping with her since last year, so she didn’t remember the tent. She howled and tried to touch the tent wall and howled again, while I talked to her and touched the tent wall to show her it was okay. Finally, she calmed down and we cuddled, while she stared around her with big eyes, wondering where she had ended up. I worried that she wouldn’t sleep well in the tent, but once she finally drifted off, she didn’t wake up until eight the next morning.
Overall, it was a good weekend. The sessions were excellent, and we had fun running into other friends that we haven’t seen in a while—or since last year’s conference. It was awesome to see so many young, faithful Catholic families there, to be able to share our faith and our love for Christ. Sunshine enjoyed running around, amusing my husband and I with her independence and how far she’d go with no concern about where we were. She also had fun playing with all the kids there, though she’s not into sharing yet.
At one point, a little boy her age had come over to play with her towards the end of Mass. Sunshine was eating applesauce, and the little boy read her board book and played with her ball for a bit. Then Sunshine wanted to join in. My husband and I both began laughing as the boy and Sunshine howled simultaneously at who had the ball. We tried to show them how to play catch, but neither would give up the ball, and it disappeared.
And so begins our summer holidays.