A Tale of Courage

Mar

A Tale of Courage

Mar
tent-548022_1280My granddaughter, who just turned seven, was telling me about a Girl Scout backyard sleepover she participated in recently. There were two little girls, I'll call them Abbie and Sophie, who were experiencing a sleepover for the first time. One of them had never slept away from home, even with grandparents. They were understandably apprehensive, as were their mothers. The Moms staying in the house for the night assured them they would call them to come get their daughters if they ran into difficulty. "No matter what the time?" Yes, they assured them both, no matter what the time.

Abbie ran into difficulty. Her "tent leader" asked her, "Would you let me rub your back for 5 minutes, and if you still want to call your Mom we'll do that?" She said yes. And during the 5 minute backrub, she fell asleep until morning. She woke up exclaiming, "I did it!  I did it!" (Perhaps her Mom had a sleepless night, but Abbie made it.) The girls in her tent jumped up and down and celebrated with her, the chaperone Moms had tears in their eyes as they watched the celebration.

Sophie didn't make it all night. She tried her best, but in the end she asked the leaders to call her Mom so she could sleep in her own bed. The girls in her tent were sad and disappointed, but they were so glad she tried.

So, I asked my granddaughter, "Which little girl was courageous?" She paused. She knows me well. She knew there might be a trick question involved.

"Abbie showed a lot of courage, staying away from home the first time. And she was brave to let her leader try to comfort her and to trust her enough that she fell asleep." My granddaughter nodded thoughtfully.  "And," I continued, "was Sophie courageous too? She tried just as hard as Abbie to stay, and then she showed courage by asking the leaders to call her Mommy. Someone could have made fun of her, or been irritated, or not have listened to her." My granddaughter interrupted to say, "But we didn't!  We were sad she was leaving, but we just hugged her goodbye!" "I'm so proud of you for that, too. And do you see that both little girls were so, so brave?"

She nodded her head with a smile.

So here's to our courage, our daily courage that Brene' Brown calls "ordinary courage," although it is really quite extraordinary.

The courage to try, one more day.

The courage to risk a new idea when the previous ones aren't going so well.

The courage to live through things you were sure you never could.

The courage to endure longer than you ever thought possible.

The courage to let someone comfort you, and to open your heart to the possibility.

The courage to say "I need help. "

The courage to make the call.

The courage to celebrate with those who celebrate.

The courage to share pain with those in pain.

The courage to see each new sunrise as new beginning.

The courage to say goodbye.

The courage to open your heart to it all.

Here's to you, courageous one and all.