About six years ago I headed off to my first UUA General Assembly of congregations in Fort Worth, Texas. I had been a religious educator for about 12 minutes and I begged everyone I met for help figuring out just what the heck I was going to do with all these 23 children for a whole year.
The next year I went to St. Louis with two youth--one of them my oldest son who was 14 at the time. We stayed very, very far away from the convention center and walked our teens home at night through areas people probably shouldn't walk though at night in St. Louis. I witnessed some history at the "Transracial Abductees" panel and cried pretty much the whole way home, but still--was filled and enriched by the experience--well, eventually anyway.
The following year must have been in Portland and I remember being so thrilled to just get to drive to GA and to be able to bring oranges and a case of soup with a hot pot to heat it up. We brought 4 youth that year--all on scholarship from our district. And my son was elected to national leadership.
In Fort Lauderdale I got to room for part of the time with one of my best friends in the whole world, and we ate Cuban food and drove her Prius to the beach. Michael was the Jr. FUNTIMES manager and I had to make an appointment to have dinner with him he was so busy. It was hot. Really hot. So hot. Super hot. But I had a fabulous time and I launched this blog during the week.....
Then we were in Salt Lake City, and I was coming on to the LREDA board holding the GA Portfolio. It was a flawless GA for me, except for the thunderstorm that shattered the glass in the Convention Center and the tension over the election for the UUA president. And of course, it was hot. Michael was the Sr. FUNTIMES manager and I wasn't even his sponsor because he had to come even earlier than the LREDA board.
Oh and then, Minneapolis. And I got to see another of my very BFF--cool how my friends are UU, isn't it? And I was in the town I grew up in, and got to drive past the location of the nursery school my grandmother and mother owned from the 40s to the 70s. I had a fabulous time with friends, and I hope did an OK job on the LREDA GA presence. Michael was the HUUPER, and didn't need a sponsor because he was an adult. But I saw him once or twice anyway. There were thunderstorms that I walked through holding my shoes so they didn't get wet and it wasn't too hot at all. The rooftop happy hours with my dear roommate were probably the highlight, though!
Now, I'm packed and headed to Charlotte, NC. I had hoped to bring my youngest son, but the airfare of $700 we'd have had to have paid was impossible. I am again rooming with my oldest, both of us holding much less responsibility than we have for a while, both of us looking forward to roaming the exhibit hall and just attending sessions. Our congregation has won a breakthrough congregation award, but other than that, I have few responsibilities. I'll listen and learn and sit next to people and beg them to tell me what to do when you've just moved into a church building of your own and you have 125 registered children and youth and you're already out of space. I'll rest a little after the craziest year ever, and I'll hope to come back with ideas and resources to see us through another year.
And I'll tell you all about it! Hope to see you in Charlotte, or at least in the comment section!
Look for me, I'll be wearing a very relaxed expression, and you know, maybe--leggings.