This past week I was at Fleur de Lis camp a wonderful girls camp in NH where I went for 8 summers as a child. My grandmother, aunt and cousins also spent many summers at this humble and magical place all singing the same songs and learning the same skills.
Now 20 years later I came back. This time to spend a week with 31 girls who have lost a parent. Over 20 alum and friends of fleur de lis came for the week to give these girls a chance to be with others ages 9-13 who have had a similar loss. They shared and processed a bit of their grief. But mostly laughed, made new friends and giggled themselves to sleep.
Each Morning after the bugler played reveille, the girls would line up for "password" ... A brief talk given by a counselor to set the tone for the day and give them an idea to reflect upon. The below is the password I wrote for these girls....
"As you all know this camp is called "Fleur de Lis" Fleur de Lis means "flower of the lily" in French. This is old French. I wanted to share with you an expression in French that is more modern... Something the teenagers say.
When they are feeling good they say "je me sens bien dans mes baskets"
This means "I feel good in my sneakers"
What does it mean to feel "good in one's sneakers"? It means being honest about where you are
All day we move between different emotions.
(I walked to the left and said)
Imagine emotions on a scale. Over here you have "sad, sad... Really sad" as as you move over (I walked right) there are all kinds of other emotions
A little sad
And so excited I can barely contain myself.
Sometimes you may see some other girls on the road laughing and having a great time. You might be feeling sad at that moment.
But don't worry that might be you in 20 minutes. We move through many emotions all day and "feeling good in your sneakers" just means being honest about where you are knowing it can change at any moment.
You can feel good in your sneakers if they are running to joy but you are feeling lonely. You need to move through the emotions with your shoes.
The password for today is: sneakers