Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at our kitchen counter when Claire came bursting through the door with unbridled enthusiasm. "MOM!" her was voice thick and rich with excitement, "My field trip was AWESOME!" It wasn't really a field trip for her, per se, since it was just in the school gym, but many other high schools were invited in to hear speakers fromJosten's Renaissance talk to the kids about how each and every one of them could make a wonderfully big difference in the life of someone at their school, someone who may feel isolated and alone. Claire talked and talked and talked about the speakers and their stories. She couldn't stop talking, and I couldn't stop listening to her passionate retelling of the narratives of the day. With a flourish, she finished her breathless spiel with an account one of the speakers told about taking his child to preschool for the first time, and how he, his wife and his young son all had the same mantra for the day..."I just need to be a little brave. I just need to be a little brave. I just need to be a little brave." The parents needed to find the bravery to let go a little. The son, well, he needed to find the bravery to be let go, test his wings a smidge and find a place to fit in. She told me how the parents sat and watched their little one from the car as he stood on the playground his first day of school, wishing with all of their hearts for him to find just one child to play with. They knew it wasn't up to them to find him a friend, the parents realized he had to do it on his own, that he had to be a little brave. They spied on him as he watched others running past him, playing tag and kickball and catch, until finally one little girl came up to him, grabbed his hand and pulled him to monkey bars. Their hearts lifted. It just took that one child a minute to reach out to their son and make him feel included. Claire finished her stories and left me sitting at the kitchen counter to go do her homework. My head swirled as I continued to mull over her experience. I sat reflecting on one word out of the thousands she spoke. Brave. "I just need to be a little brave."
Today, I'm by our fire place watching the flames dance in front of me (not for warmth mind you, just for ambiance in trying to dispel the dreariness of the day), pondering the word that I can't get out of my head. I have my trusty teacup right beside me and sweet Bella at my feet, trying to find the right way to convey what I want to about being just a little brave, and then I did what I do every time I want to get closer to a word ~ to feel its meaning. I went to the dictionary. This is what I found..."Possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance." That's the dictionary definition of brave, but the definition doesn't really lock into what I think bravery really means.There are so many tasks of every day life that require us to be just a little brave. I'm not talking big, bad, brave events. I'm talking first world bravery kind of incidents. The kind of bravery talked about in Claire's field trip, making you to want to be a better person, to want to do something for someone because you want to leave a better mark on this world, to want others to be proud of the kind of character you possess.
While I was perusing the dictionary and thesaurus this word of the day popped up...