Throughout the church, on the weekend of May 15th, we celebrate the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. As part of this commemoration, the Priesthood holders and their sons go on a campout and discuss the restoration. This has expanded to include all sons, even those who don't have the Priesthood. It is a great time for the young men to learn from their fathers' examples, and to learn about the importance of the Priesthood of God.
A side benefit of these weekends is that the Moms and daughters get some time alone too. In years past, I have made an effort to do something special with my daughter on this weekend. When she was 8 years old, I took her on this weekend to get her ears pierced. Most other times we have gone out to dinner together. As she entered her teenage years, there were times when she preferred to spend the time with her friends instead. I still went out to movies or dinner by myself. It's kind of a mini-vacation for me. :)
This year my daughter is away at school. I thought about going out to eat, but I wasn't feeling very good. I had a craving for a peanut butter sandwich and chinese noodle soup, so I stayed home to cook for myself and watch a movie that I had recorded.
I will never forget the year that I pushed my husband to take our two year old son with him. I had this romantic idea that he would enjoy it, and that it would be valuable father son bonding time. Unfortunately, my son screamed for an hour or so at bedtime. I guess I pushed it a little too soon. By the next year he was ready to camp with Dad, and enjoyed it. When my other sons were young, they really enjoyed this campout too. One time after they had come home from the campout, my neighbor said to them, "Sounds like you have fun at your church." My oldest son who was about 5 at the time said, "Only once a year". ;) What I love about the picture above, which was taken just before they left for the campout one year, is the pure joy on the face of my middle son. He was ecstatic about going camping with his Dad. (Click on it to see it bigger.)
I love my husband and my children, and I wouldn't want them to be gone long, but once a year, for one night, it's fun to have a night to myself. :)