Monday, September 04, 2017

Labor Day Weekend 2017

Almost ten years ago I met a child named Ronni. She was seven and in my cabin out at Camp Barnabas. I had been told she was hard to handle, and to be prepared for a tough week. Fortunately, that week included more than tough moments. It had laughter, songs, joy, and love throughout the experiences that week. If you're new to me, Ronni is new to you but for loyal readers, everyone knows Ronni. *grin* Ronni is a jewel with Down Syndrome. However, her disability isn't what defines her, her catchy personality is one-of-a-kind that captures all that meet her.

So, I had planned to have her Friday night through Sunday afternoon. I knew that sleep wouldn't be a priority, but I knew TONS of laughter would happen. I was right. *grin* I met her family in Clinton, Missouri. This worked out great for me because she lives 3 hours away and the drive to Clinton was only one hour. *grin* I was excited for the weekend and knew we'd have fun. *grin*

We jammed to music coming back, and Ronni loves to sing and dance in her seat. We had fun singing to our heart's content and not worrying about how we sound. I'll admit, that was really fun. We stopped and got Dairy Queen for dinner when we got back to LS and then headed to Wal-Mart to get toilet paper. *giggle* We also got snack foods for her too. It worked out well.

We came back here and watched Lion King before crashing for the night. We sang along to the songs, and it was so cute how I would check my phone and she'd say, "Shanna, look!" I told her I had seen it, but she felt I should watch more closely. *giggle*

We woke up Saturday and watched previews for the appropriate movies she could see, and we wound up deciding on Leap. I loved letting her pick, even though I secretly was hoping Leap would win. We proceeded to turn the tv on, and she had full control of what we watched. It was fine, as I needed to pay bills, and she enjoyed watching the tv. When it was time to get ready, she turned off the tv on her own. We each got ready and then went to the show.

The movie was great, and I highly recommend it for people that need to be inspired. It was amazingly good, and I loved every moment of it.

After that, we did the Target dollar spot and took pics of her in various hats. We didn't buy any, but, we had fun. She did find a little notebook that she wanted, so I got it for her for $3. Later, I asked her how she liked her "journal" and she corrected me and told me it was a notebook, not a journal. *giggle* She's a hoot!

We went to the dollar tree after that because she had a gift card. We took more pics in Halloween costumes. I loved every moment of it. We also laughed a ton. She also made some friends, which is pretty normal for her. *giggle* We decided to head home, have pizza, and watch another movie.

She drew in her notebook as we watched various shows. I paid bills, but we joked often through the shows. My favorite moments were when she would say something, and I'd pause and say, "You're weird." We would both laugh when I said it. I know, it loses a lot in a story, but it was kind of our thing all weekend. She decided to stay up later than me, and I let her. I mean, it wasn't like we had to be anywhere Sunday morning. *grin* She did a great job turning lights out and going up to sleep on her own. Gosh, she's grown up.

She now thanks me all the time whenever we did something. She would also say "please" if she wanted something too. She's grown up so much that I told her Mom I wanted to have her again sometime. Her Mom said we could definitely work that out. *grin*

There was one quote that she said that I've been pondering since she left. We were sharing Jay throughout our evening, and, I often said, "Jay, you're my favorite dog..." Out of nowhere, later in the evening, she said, "Shannah, I feel jealous." I was taken aback and said, "Okay...what are jealous about?" She went on to tell me she was jealous of Jay because I like Jay more than her. I'll be honest, I fought laughter only because she is my favorite camper ever. *giggle* I paused and said, "Well, Jay is my favorite dog, but you're my favorite camper." That made her smile! *grin*

We slept in Sunday morning, and went to breakfast before heading to Clinton. She was tired, and I expected that. I was tired too, so I felt like our visit was ending at a perfect time. We met her parents at the camp ground they were staying at and visited with them for a little while before heading back to L.S. I will say that I truly enjoyed my weekend with her and can't wait for more weekends with her. Her Mom said that she was going to try to register her for Barn-A-Break. I plan on registering too. *grin*

I came back and relaxed last night. I fell asleep early and slept in late. I'll admit, that's why I scheduled the weekend the way I did because I knew I'd need to catch up on sleep. *grin* So, I'll admit, I miss Ronni already but also know that part of the charm of our friendship is that we only hang out from time to time and we can't get tired of each other. *giggle* It works.

So, it's getting dark earlier, colder weather is on the way, and I'm ready for hoodie season. *grin*

Truthfully, I'm even ready to go back to school. This year is SO MUCH BETTER, so I don't dread it like I did last year. I have some amazing little people and look forward to work now. *grin*

I'm blessed by Ronni. She is sixteen, and a lot of fun to be around. I thank God for her often. Weekends like this are worth remembering. Totally. *grin*

By the way, it's worth noting that I'm praying for Texas because of Hurricane Harvey. I could do a whole post, but won't. I'll just say, I'm praying for you, Texas. *grin*


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