I know what you’re thinking. Well, if this is your first time reading my blog, I have no idea what you’re thinking, but if you’re one of the two or three people who have been with me from the beginning, I think you’ve probably started wondering what ever happened to all those inner children of mine and those shrines I said I was making from Altoids tins. I made one for the youngest, Ruthie, and I said that I planned to make one for each of the others, but then I went off on various tangents and no other tins appeared. My faithful followers, I have finally made another shrine.
This one is for the second-youngest, the one who is a Junior Girl Scout. In order to make a shrine for her, I had to figure out who she is and what she brings to the table. I remembered early on that she loves embroidery. She’s the one who is content to sit quietly in a corner of the couch and stitch for hours. It’s creative for her but it is also meditative. She’s excited about my current collection of embroidery floss and yarn. She can’t wait to get her hands on all those pretty colors.
Stitchery is her creative expression but her essence is responsibility. If all my inner children and I get together in a sacred circle to make plans for personal transformation, she is the one who will be reining in the crazy ones and grounding the flaky ones. If they elect officers, she will be the parliamentarian. She knows Robert’s Rules of Order and she’s happy to keep everyone on track. She loves uniforms, she loves structure and she loves doing what’s right. She’s not just my inner child; she’s my inner Goody Two-Shoes.
She is also a fire builder. I had forgotten that. On her first Girl Scout camping trip, the girls chose their jobs by pulling strips of paper from a jar. The one she pulled said “fire builder.” After that, she had experience, so she tended to get the fire building job at every camp-out. How could I forget that, deep inside me, there’s a careful, responsible person who can be trusted to build a fire and keep it burning safely and steadily as long as it’s needed for cooking and for warmth?
It turns out that this one is not just a quiet, well-behaved needleworker. She is the keeper of my flame. The others may be crazy and spontaneous and wild but somebody has to make sure the center holds. She’s the one who holds it. She’s happy in her role and she knows her value. She’s the reason the others can feel free to wander and dance and fly. She will always make sure the beds get made, the bills get paid and the fire never goes out.
I know all these inner children need names of their own. Calling them all Ruthanne would be confusing. The youngest one is easy because she’s the only one who will answer to Ruthie. I’ve decided that the second-youngest will be called Scout. This is her Altoids tin shrine:
A nice little campfire and plenty of embroidery. That should do it.