I learned a lot about my eleven-year-old son this summer. The youngest member of a 25-person rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, led by four guides.
I had worried he was too small for whitewater. Silly mom.
The first to ride at the front of the boat. To take the big waves. Yelling at the river to bring it on.
On the trails with the nimble teenagers. What cliff? What slippery edge?
Launcher of river battles. The first to fire the water gun at the other boat.
Pulling his weight in the fire-line to unload and set up camp.
The other boat was filled with adults. Surprised when he stormed it to steal their weapons as we pushed off from the narrow beach. A little guy with a war cry.
The record-breaker swimming the rapids. “One more time?” as everyone else followed the guides’ call back to the boats.
The first to jump off waterfalls. To drive the raft.
A calming guide to “put your foot there” for the adults trying the jump he’d already done ten times.
An adventurer. Fun. A leader. A warrior. At home in the raging waters.
The other boat plotted to kidnap him. They envied his spirit. Wanted him for themselves. Named him MVB, most valuable boater.
I am so grateful for his week in the sun.