I got in last night around 8 from a wonderful no-kids, no-husbands, mini-vacay weekend. I don't know if I've ever had so much girltime fun. The drive to and from Calgary was at LEAST as fun as the actual conference itself.
Five of us piled into my van Friday afternoon to attend Time Out for Women. Really, what Mom doesn't need a time out? I remember a woman speaking at General Conference a couple years ago and mentioned that her daughter was at the time in her life when "her greatest blessings were also her greatest challenges" - and I knew exactly what she meant. Sometimes, I ask Grant if he wants a time out when he's done some naughty and sometimes he'll reply with an enthusiastic "Ya!" My feelings exactly. Well, in spite of repeatedly trying to teach my toddler that time outs are a bad thing, I LOVED my time out. I am very grateful that I have a husband who could take some time off work for me to leave on time, and was actually willing to watch our kids! This was, of course, his first time being with two kids overnight - a big step, if you ask me! Way to go honey!
All of the presenters were amazing, I absolutely couldn't pick a favorite. It surpassed my expectations on every hand. I have gone to Women's Conference a few times before, and there are inevitably some speakers I liked more than others when it's over. But not here! It was like a Best of Women's Conference sort of deal. But I do have one thought that I can't shake to share with my blog readers (if anyone is still out there reading this!).
Hilary Weeks mentioned that she was out to dinner with her daughter Megan, on a mother-daughter date. Megan was happily telling her about a game of tag she had played that day, giggling as she recounted it. And Hilary thought (I'm paraphrasing here) - this is the only chance I get to see my children as children. We will all know each other eternally as adults - so this is our honor, our privilege, our sweet, exquisite piece of heaven - to see our children as children!
President Joseph F. Smith, in Gospel Doctrine (pg.455) taught that all spirits are in adult form - they were adults before their mortal existence, and they are in adult form after death, even if they die as infants or children.
What a tiny speck of time that they - and we - experience as children in the grand scheme of a Heavenly Father's plan. The eons and eons of eternity that have been and will be are so vast that we cannot even begin to measure how short this lifetime is - and childhood is a fraction of that life. How I love that am a mother, that I get to live in a home with my little babies who are, by all accounts, most likely eternally wiser and grander than I. I love their innocence and their purity. A wonderful friend who is a fabulous example to me said something on her blog a couple weeks ago that I also cannot shake, and I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her sweet words that echo my sentiments so precisely: I adore the fact that I'm merely their guardian while on this earth, and eternally we're equal and old souls.
I feel an increasing urgency to protect, teach, encourage, correct, and love the heck out of my children as I try to give them the very best of myself. I often hear the spirit whispering "Your children only have one childhood." There is no going back, no rewinding the clock, once the day is done it is gone, never to return. Rachel will be 8 months old tomorrow; she'll never be seven or six or five or four or three or two months old ever again. Grant will be two and a half this summer, the years go by so fast and then they're gone.
Our children chase after us for our attention for only a short, short time - and then they move on with their lives and we spend the rest of our lives chasing them - a lesson I know my father-in-law has learned the hard way.
I don't know how best to end this post, it just seems to keep going on and on. But I do know that this weekend has strengthened my resolve to take care of myself, my husband, my children, my home, and given me the lift I need to continue when I'm elbow deep in poop and puke and I wonder what was I ever thinking having children.
Next year I'm going to go to Women's Conference, maybe you'd like to come?