October is the month of fears and this year, we have a Friday the 13th coming up at the end of the week. GASP—that just adds to the spooky nature of the month! And, is if that weren’t bad enough for those of us who are superstitious, I am spending that Friday the 13th and in fact the weekend, camping in a cabin on a secluded lake in Bass River State Forest. Talk about facing fear?! I drove by this cabin on a sunny day in August and even then it seemed shrouded in shadows, and looking as if Jason himself might just spring out of the woods, hockey mask gleaming in the sun. And yet, my sleeping bag is ready, my sweatshirts are packed, and I am heading out into the wild for the weekend of Friday the 13th?
Why, you ask, am I going if I am fearful of this? Well, because I am a Mom and Moms show no fear! Abigail wants to go camping and so off we go. (Lest you panic thinking I am solely supervising this outdoor excursion, my Dad is joining us and hoping some cousins will come as well!) Will she be a little nervous, as the sun sets and the moon rises? Yup! Will every crackle in the trees and snap of the twigs cause her to jump in my lap? Of course! Will her clothes smell of wood smoke and her hands become sticky with s’mores? Of this, there is no doubt! And will she have in her little mind a memory of camping with her grandfather that will live forever in her heart? She will and that, more than any other reason is why I am facing my fear, becoming a brave Mom and camping out- for the memories it will give to Abby.
Also, because I am a teacher, I know that this experience will teach her a valuable lesson as well. That it’s ok to be afraid, as long as you do not let fear overwhelm you. That it’s ok to be nervous about being in a new situation, as long as you recognize the strength within yourself to adjust and make a place for yourself. For what better example can the Head of School at a school which empowers women for leadership set than to march into that cabin on Friday the 13th and face my fear? I will work to set that example, for my own daughter and for every young woman that walks the halls of SDA each day.
WE are strong. WE are empowered. WE are brave and WE can overcome of fears because WE believe in girls! WE believe in the fact that we can make a difference in the lives of others. That is the message of empowerment that SDA has sent forth since 1878 and that is the message I will carry with me this weekend.
That said…if I see a hockey mask anywhere near that cabin, I’m out! I may be brave but I am not crazy!