A few weeks back we went on an Army sponsored marriage retreat. They have done a few since Armydad joined the unit but this is the first time we have been selected to go. (I think we were selected because he is in headquarters now and the commander and 1SG know and like him. He thinks we were selected because we have a child with a serious medical issue. I am sure I’m right…) Anyway.
Armydad worked a half day on Friday and I took the whole day off! We left at lunch time. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive to reach the resort. The resort was amazing! It was top of the line and beautiful. The first night, we dropped the kids off at childcare (more on that later) and went to a session. It was mostly done by videos. The chaplain talked some, but for the most part we watched videos of speakers. We had dinner after our first session, had a second session, then picked our kids up and headed to our room for bed.
Saturday morning we had breakfast with the kids, then dropped them off. Child care was offered from 9am to 8:30pm that day! We had sessions from 9-12 then had lunch and then couple time for the rest of the day. After our mornings sessions and lunch, we picked our kids up and took them swimming and to the beach. We dropped them back at child care later and had some alone time and went to dinner. Then we picked the kids up for bath and bedtime.
Sunday morning the chaplain did a short worship service. We went and took our kids. (We were one of only 3 families that chose to go.) Then we had breakfast and a couple sessions. They fed us lunch and then we checked out and headed home.
The child care was amazing! It was an organization that does child care at hotels all over the state for weddings, meetings, conferences, etc. They were wonderful and amazing with our kids. The boys had a blast. The caregivers really cared about them and wanted them to have fun. And they were concerned enough but not paranoid about Thing1’s heart condition that I felt reassured. (You know, I want them to be worried, but not to the point where they come and get me every 2 minutes.)
The sessions were really good. There were a lot of good points made. I was a little surprised by the Christian slant that was in the presentation. Many references to God and the Bible. I would prefer it that way, but I was surprised the Army endorsed that and also that no one else was bothered by it. We did see ourselves in a few of the things discussed and it has helped us to find better ways to communicate.
I feel we have a VERY strong marriage. We are still madly in love with one another and rarely fight. But, even the best marriage could use a little maintenance once in a while. If you ever have the chance to do one of these, do it! Friday morning, neither Armydad or I felt like going. We wanted to back out, but knew Armydad would get into trouble if we did. So, we went. And we were so glad we did!