I spent the past week at the Jack & Jill National Convention, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over a thousand mothers from the east to the west and everything in between were in attendance, I even met one mother from Belgium. I was spotted by Angela, a member that is a “Gigismeanderings” follower which was a treat, being a blogger you never know who you are connecting with, it was a delight to meet her.
The conference was intense, the days started at 7 and most evenings ended at 2. We wore our uninterrupted white, teal, purple, fuschia, black, navy, hats, t-shirts, gowns and lots of bling, of course not at the same time.
Charlotte was warm, inviting and full of southern charm, everyone was so nice, I didn’t even mind the humidity that swelled every strand of my hair, no one appeared to have that crazy rushed sense of urgency. The food was de-lish, grits, collard greens and other decadent southern treats, lavender martinis and lots of bite-sized sweets. I will be doing double day workouts this week! We were serenaded by KEM, Kirk Whalum, Horizon a local cover band of young teens that was phenomenal, Native American Drummers, and a jamming DJ. An insightful presentation by Marian Wright Edelman, a fashion show, and an authors pavilion.
Of course I had to pick up a book, Postcards from Cookie, by Caroline Clarke , a heartfelt memoir about Caroline discovering her birthmother-Cookie Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole. The story chronicles her journey researching her adoption and finding out her mother was one of Nat King Coles’s daughters. I love memoirs, you realize that we all have unique stories and it is those stories that have shaped who we are.
I was the official photographer for our region, recording images that I know 20 or 30 years from now we will look back on and smile. These are a few of my favorites.
This year will be my last year as an active member, my son will be graduating out. As I continue on my journey discovering and searching for my purpose on the planet, Jack and Jill will always have a special place in my life, it is where I met some of my best friends. I watched children grow up, graduate, and now the wedding invites are starting to appear in my mailbox. I will laugh about the stockings, and the ladylike white pumps that are stored away until the next Jack and Jill ceremony. Some may say that 76 years later do we even need Jack and Jill, and I will answer a confident yes. Is it for everybody? No. Will your child be OK if they don’t belong to Jack and Jill? Yes, but for me it was a good fit for my family, I have almost 20 years of unforgettable memories and lifelong relationships for my years in Jack & Jill.