Every so often, I think I have this parenting thing figured out (ha, ha!) and then I have a day like today.
Caroline started Track Camp yesterday and seemed to really love it. The girl could run all day long and has done really well in the two 5k races she’s run so track camp seemed like a pretty natural thing to do. I was incredibly proud of her as I dropped her off yesterday morning. She didn’t know a soul who would be there but as we drove, all she said was, “I’m a little worried.” There were no tears, no wails, no complaints. And at the end of the three hours of running, jumping and throwing in blistering heat, she was happy.
Then she woke up this morning in tears. She absolutely did not want to go. Through my confusion, I tried to sort out what had changed. She was sore and tired and the forecast called for another incredibly hot day. All that being said, though, Caroline is a complainer. There are very few days that she doesn’t complain about what’s to come and then ends up enjoying her day. I have rarely let her ‘quit’ an activity as I feel I have a pretty good sense of what she truly likes and what really is not her thing.
The real tears that accompanied today’s complaints though threw me for a loop. I felt a bit tortuous forcing my sobbing eight year old to go to track camp so I let her stay home terrified the whole time of the precedent I was setting.
Not five minutes after I made my decision, Caroline told me about two girls at camp who were whispering about her and giving her dirty looks. The truth came out. Her fear had nothing to do with running and throwing and jumping.
I still don’t know if I made the right decision. After all, life if full of peoplewho can make activities we love slighly less fun. The mystery of it all is deciding when your love for something out weighs your dislike of the people doing it with you.
Maybe running is that thing for Caroline. Maybe not.
For today, I decided we could combine the thing and the people we love. As Caroline avoided track camp, she and I went for a run…