We are back from a weekend of memories made with both new and old friends. We attended the International Down Syndrome Coalition’s 2014 World Down Syndrome Day meet up. We are veteran’s now. This is our second year and it has become an annual getaway we all look forward to. It is hard to explain what it feels like to take over a Great Wolf Lodge with 30 other families who are on the same journey as you are. All I can say is that it is good, full heart good. Just 2 short years ago I thought I didn’t need “get togethers” like this. I wanted to make my own path. Meet people on my own terms. I was wrong. I very much need these families in my life and my families life. I can not help but thank this beautiful girl and her big smile for giving us the opportunity to grow along side all these amazing people.
We kicked off the weekend with a Moms night out. We sat around a big table trading stories, sharing our lives and making new friends. I walked away with a handful of new friends that I will be checking up on reguarly. I think life long friendships began around that table friday night. It didn’t matter where you came from or who you were. We all share a journey of raising a child with 1 teeny tiny little chromosome and that united us.
The next day we splashed, hugged and high fived our way through the water park. Families and friends were all the same. Kids played no matter what the ability was. Siblings met new siblings. Dad’s met new Dad’s. It was fun to watch as everyone molded into one big happy family. That evening the Dad’s had their night out. Dad’s from all over the midwest did the same as the Moms. Sat around a table, enjoyed a beer and got to know each other. They so often get left out of building these relationships and this weekend connections were made. My husband asked me about setting up some future dinner dates. Insert happy heart.
My kids already miss it. The late night cookies. The dance party in their PJ’s. The last ride down the Tornado just before the water park closed. All of it. I miss the faces of Moms and Dads that I only get to see once or twice a year.
We are planning and thinking about next year. It is exciting to watch this event get bigger every year. I hope you enjoy this little video I made of some of the families and friends we spent time with over the weekend. This will give you just a small glimpse into the love that filled that lodge!
Music by Selena Gomez & Demi Lovato – One and the Same – kinda love this song ALOT!
Happy Monday! OXOX Katie