A really good tired, though. For my non-local friends, Minnesota was smacked upside the head with our first snow of the season on Saturday. I won't get into what a sadistic shrew Ma Nature is, seeing as how it was 70 degrees just FOUR DAYS beforehand, but it was a shock. Yes, I know, snow in November in Minnesota? Weird! But come on. Even for a warm weather curmudgeon like myself it was pretty nice to see kids wearing shorts 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.
We're done with the shorts, for now.
So I volunteered to go on a 2 day retreat with the 7th grade confirmation students at my church. I'm not going to get into religion with you today, those of you who "know" me know that I don't talk about it much. Like my political views, my religious views are kept close to my vest (and although I am a walking fashion nightmare I don't really wear vests...really). But I do go to church, I've taught Sunday school for several years and this year I took on the role of Confirmation small group leader for an amazing group of 7th grade girls.
I do it for a couple of reasons, one very selfish reason and the others not so much. Selfish reason: I love it. I love the fact that when I first met these kids, they were goofy 4th graders. I've watched them grow up a little, and go from giggly, round-faced 9 year olds to tall, gangly teens. Our discussions have covered every topic from death to Happy Meals and everything in between. I have had the honor of becoming part of these kid's lives, and it's my most sincere wish that somehow I have made or will make an impression on them. Sometimes I think how different my life could have been if only there had been an adult I could have talked to back when I was the same age as these kids. So I do it for 13 year old Jenny, too.
Another reason I do it? For my kids. I don't push the Sunday School experience with them, Big Daddy has a different view about religion than I do and it's hard getting a kid involved in something they are only allowed to attend every other week. But I do require their attendance at Confirmation. I think having this structure, a structure that is based on something so hopeful and positive and loving, can only be good for them. I like our religion, and I love our church, because it is a positive place and gives reinforcement to children of all ages.
So anyhoo. We left on Saturday morning, two buses packed to the gills with 80 7th graders and about 8 adults. In the middle of a blizzard. We were counting how many cars were in the ditches and/or involved in fender benders and stopped at 40. That was just before we came upon the car that had flipped over and was now resting on the side of road...upside down. Our bus drivers were awesome though, and we made it.
It was beautiful. About an hour and a half outside of Minneapolis, on a little lake in Wisconsin, we let the kids out and watched as they ran and screamed and laughed and pelted each other with snowballs. I was able to watch my Henry having fun out in the white, wet great outdoors. He had a smile on his face the whole time.
Then we ate and talked about God and Jesus. Slept on mattresses that were approx. 2" thick and covered with ripped aqua blue vinyl. Woke up, ate more, talked some more about God and Jesus and then came home.
It was a good weekend.