Granddaughter Maren (age 14) came home from camp yesterday. For 17 days she canoed in Quetico, across the Minnesota-Canada border, and as you can see she is a strong, empowered young woman.
I am eager to learn the details about her camper colleagues and counselor, plus details about portages crossed, miles canoed, territory covered, wildlife seen. I also wonder about the challenges met and lessons learned.
Even though this was not her first time at Widjiwagan, this was the first time she wasn't going with her best friend, and she was a bit nervous about being with girls she didn't know. After all there you are in the wilderness and there is no alternative, but to keep on paddling. And there is no cell phone coverage, even if you had your phone with you.
Her previous Widji experiences have been so positive, but what if this one wasn't? She wondered if her good fortune was about to run out. Certainly it is true that not every event and opportunity in her life will be stellar. I am sure there will be times when she will just want something to end, to go home and crawl into the security of her own bed.
But here's the thing about Maren: She not only pushes through her own anxiety, she helps others push through their anxieties, too. She may not feel confident, but she is a confident presence and inspires it in others. She is brave and self-aware, always giving her best, and frankly, her best shines.
A friend from church remarked how Maren added to her Easter morning experience with her calm, steady demeanor. I know my friend was being nice to this besotted grandmother, but I also know what she said is true, and it brings tears to my eyes when I think of Maren, tall and sure, during the Gospel processional. Of course, I love her fun-loving, playful, and silly side, too. How often I seem to catch glimpses of her holy essence.
I wouldn't presume to tell her who I think God created her to be, but I can have a role in supporting her understanding and development of that person. And what a privilege that is.
Welcome home, Wonder Woman Maren! (Note the Wonder Woman hat a friend knit for her.)
Do you have any young Wonder Women in your life? I would love to know.)
NOTE: Maren and her Widji experiences when she was 12 inspired two earlier posts here and here.