Sunday, September 8, 2013

The three big girls go on retreat with Uncle Dominic

I went on retreat a couple weekends ago with my mother and sister.  We had a fabulous time.  John grew up attending Fr. Hardon's retreats most of his high school years so he always pushes me out the door whenever I am able to attend a retreat of any kind as he remembers how spiritually refreshed he was.  All the kids, especially Lillie, overheard us talking and must  have picked up on the excitement.

We received our diocesan newspaper and what do you know she noticed a retreat offered by the Marian Sisters for girls ages 7-11.  The ad specifically stated, "Spend the day playing games, making crafts, learning about your faith, and having fun with your dad and the Sisters."  It was specifically geared toward Fathers and Daughters.  She really did about come out of her skin with excitement and asked over and over if she too could go on retreat.  To her dismay, John had been booked out on Saturdays for quite a while so he couldn't take off.  The idea came to me to ask my younger, college-aged brother Dominic if he could take the girls.

He is a senior this year at the University of Nebraska and is carrying a very heavy load while working most of his waking and sleeping hours so I knew it might be a long shot.  He originally popped into my mind as about a month previous he was over and we were talking about child-rearing.  He was emphasizing to me the role our own aunts, uncles, coaches, and other adults played in his life and inquired how he could be of assistance to John and I in the lives of our children.  It was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.  He offered to take Dominic to the Newman Center for Mass at night and wondered if he could take our girls out on dates individually.



So, I sent him the following message via facebook.

Me:
Hi Dom! Do you have plans for Sept. 7th? The girls really want to go on this Father/Daughter retreat with the Marian sisters, but John has to work. Is there any way you could go with them? They would never forget this time with you. Thank you so much.

Dominic:  
Literally just posted on Craigslist under tab "men searching to sacrifice whole Saturday".. Count me in. Might need a few details but other than that my car can't fit 7 car seats so figure that out and I'm in.

Me:  
Really, Dom???? You are the best. It would just be Lillie, Rose, and Zellie. They want to go so bad. It is a fun day with the nuns playing game, making crafts, etc. You would be perfect. Lillie especially has asked me to go. You could be influential!!!!!!!!!! in their convent going!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dominic:  
Oooo crafty nuns!! My fave

I mean, would you have felt any cooler than going on retreat with your uncle?



He is this big muscle man and it really touched my heart that he would spend an entire Saturday from 8:30-4:30 with our girls at a Father/Daughter retreat.  He told me when he returned that he was wanting to get "some grace."  


Rose was so tired she couldn't even open her eyes.



The girls probably didn't sleep the night before because they were so excited.  Dominic was here bright and early to pick them up.  I was a bit anxious all day thinking of him out at the retreat center with about a hundred men talking girl things.  BUT, when he pulled up and filled my ear of the entire day and how much he learned, I was just in awe.  He went to two conferences given just to the men about being a man and what kind of role they play in the lives of their children.  Dominic shared detail after detail about how important it is to connect with your children and how motivated he was to implement these things.  When the girls hopped out of his car, they were each holding a gingerbread house.  Dominic gave me play by play about the construction of each house and the excessive amount of frosting used.  He filled me in on kick ball details, capture the flag triumphs, mass, and taking Lillie to confession.  I was overly impressed with his maturity and filled with much gratitude for his very sacrificial and joyful ways. 

Next year, John plans on taking off for the event, but for this year it truly was perfectly aligned by God as it was supposed to be.  My college brother took more home from the event than all of our girls combined.  Isn't God funny that way.

10 comments :

  1. Oh, what a blessing to have a brother like that! He is going to be an amazing father one day (of either type ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for posting this - it's inspiring and beautiful! God bless you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a blessing! I just love his response to your asking him, a gift to be sure. I pray for my children to grow up with this same spirit of love and joy at being a family and all the beauty that entails!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your story touched me so much that I got pretty weepy! What a lucky uncle and nieces. I wish my girls had been able to share something like that with my brother. God bless you all!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. How beautiful! Such an awesome testimony of love. Thank you so much for sharing, really brightened my day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so precious--I actually got goosebumps reading this! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'll be keeping Dominic in my prayers. What a great guy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always known Dominic to have a heart of gold. So glad he had a wonderful day, and so grateful for his sacrificing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ha! Your brother's responses on FB totally cracked me up! Love it! Nathaniel said the retreat was wonderful. I'm so glad your brother and your girls had the opportunity to attend. What an amazing uncle!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my gosh. Set me up on a date with your brother or find out if he had any friends in Ohio! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Seriously, your brother is adorable! I would totally move to Nebraska for a godly man like that! :)

    ReplyDelete