A Mom’s “Vegas Moment”

. April 26, 2013.

As I surveyed my environment of clutter and chaos, I came up with the brilliant idea that my friends and I should attend the “Mom’s Weekend” I saw advertised in Toledo Area Parent. The ad lured me like a seductress with “Relax. Unwind. You take care of children 24/7. Let us take care of you!” It also urged me to “Find your inner child!” and the kicker that sealed the deal: “Massage and facials available for nominal fee.” We were in like Flynn.
The cast of characters included: Kim, a former New Yorker who jumped at the opportunity but informed me that she was NOT singing some frinckin’ Kumba Ya around the campfire; Sue, a family physician and mother of six who wanted me to get an itinerary of every opportunity to break a sweat (this had me worried); Terry, a career woman and organizational freak with a heart of gold; Sherri, an educator, intervention specialist, and chronic optimist and me, just wanting to know what it would be like to sleep in past 6 a.m., have someone ask me what I would like to eat, and looking forward to paying someone to touch me with scented oils.  This was going to be great!

We arrived at the camp with our gear and high hopes. Sue found it difficult to believe that they did not have a limo service upon our arrival. We were instructed to use wheelbarrows to transport our luggage to our A frame cabin and meet back at the main hall.
Upon walking into our abode, which we would share for the next 53 hours, our personality differences began to come to the forefront.  Terry proclaimed, “Oh my God!  I feel like we were dropped off in some remote part of Cambodia!”  Sherri chimed in with an “Oh! This is so cute!  I will set up a little snack table, sweep the place out and help with bunk assignments.”  The woman would have hung checkered curtains if given more time. Kim went straight for the duffle bag her darling husband packed to reveal an assortment of wines and smoked salmon. Things were looking up.
While seated in the dining hall we were informed of what was available for the day. Sue was going to fit in every exercise class available to womankind, Terry was going to shut down by the lake, and the rest of us were headed to get rubbed by experienced hands. All were content until I saw the sheer look of terror in Kim’s eyes.  I read further down the brochure to discover the evening’s activities included dressing in our old prom dresses (which none of us knew to bring), and having a social hour complete with fizzy grape juice followed by singing around the campfire.  It was at this exact moment I fully understood the meaning of “conniption” thanks to the “New Yorker.”  Kim said two words to our little group with great conviction, “Road trip!”
I was brought up to be “the good girl.”  Not only did I graduate without a single demerit, I also graduated a drug free, alcohol free virgin.  The thought of doing something against the rules was scary and I had to continually remind myself that I was indeed a grown-up or in the words of Gram, “Snap out of it!”
The next morning at breakfast over the loudspeaker we campers were reprimanded with a stern “It has come to our attention that some of the ladies left the premises last night.” We all looked shocked and darted suspicious glances at other campers to throw everyone off the trail. I would love to tell you what transpired that evening, but you know what they say, “What happens in southeastern Michigan, stays in southeastern Michigan.”
Mary Helen Darah has been in marketing and development for nonprofit organizations for the past six years, but her greatest role is being a mom to three amazing and diverse young women. Mary Helen has an innate ability to find humor in her trials, and hopes her writing will give others comic relief and insight through the challenges of parenthood. Mary Helen can be reached c/o