One advantage of the conference is that the kids are so well entertained and companioned that we found lots of opportunities to hang out with other adults. It also helped that Gary came along prepared to spend lots of time with the kids. Several times, he found himself watching other kids too -- Sorscha, and Garrett & Connor joined our boys at the pool. Gary's presence made it possible for me to join Jenny & Danielle for drinks Weds night. While there, we were joined by Cameron, who dropped by our table, met everyone and helped us polish off our food.
I spent time with other Moms, both local and out-of-towners, and heard many stories about other kids and families. I had a great time getting to know Diana better and left with a little piece of Hannah to spread somewhere special.
I sat in on most of Diana's talk about life & death, and cried along with everyone else as she shared Hannah with us all. I am so inspired by Diana's story -- both for the reminder that each moment we spend with our kids is so precious, and for the joy she shares with everyone she meets. She took an amazing picture of Dan & Scotty on her camera phone -- I can hardly wait for it to arrive in my email box! She encouraged Andy to get up on stage and share his jokes -- and he did! As she said goodbye to me, she managed to totally embarrass Gary as well.
I heard most of the Dad's Panel, and really enjoyed their stories. Mary Gold's talk about teens was great. I missed a few talks, too, but I'm hoping to get those on CD as soon as Kelly has them ready.
It was so good to spend time with Ren and Danielle, getting to know them better, and to hear real-life stories about the joys and challenges of other families. To watch so many happy packs of kids roaming freely everywhere -- teenagers, pre-teens, and smaller ones, too. That's the best part of a Live & Learn conference, all the joyous, fun kids who are so much fun to be with and watch. That is the best testimonial to our chosen lifestyle for our kids -- for the sheer joy of it!