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Crossing my fingers and pushing her forward

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My daughters have subtle similarities. They like some of the same things, and they both are pretty bright. But their outlook on new situations and new activities are night and day.

While my youngest daughter adapts quickly to new surroundings and wants to do whatever “fun thing” is available, my oldest daughter is more leary, reserved and decides quickly that she is not going to have a good time.

I might as well give up right then … but I don’t. I push her just a little more, hoping and praying that something will happen to make a difference, to switch her sullen mood toward a joyful smile.

And so, it was with hopeful promise that I registered both girls at a summer day camp for a few weeks. Activities! Fun! Games! How could I possibly go wrong?

When my 13-year-old told me, “I said I didn’t want to do that,” I guess that should have been a warning sign. But I laughed it off. Sure, “you’ll have a great time!” I told her. But as school ended and the days drew near, she became even more adament and frustrated with me. She was going to have a bad time. It was going to be awful.

Still, I was hopeful.

And then the night before, she became even more insistent that she didn’t want to go to the camp. She stated matter of factly that she would not go.

I hugged her, told her I understood and that I was so sorry she felt that way … but she was still going.

Day 1, I took her (sullen-faced and all) and her little sister to the camp, signed them in and left quickly, thinking, “It’ll be fine. She’ll make friends. She’ll smile again.”

That afternoon, my husband picked them up and then called me. “One loved it, and one hated it. Guess which one,” he said. That evening I got to hear about how boring it had been and my heart sank a little that I had pushed her into something she didn’t like.

But on Day 2, the clouds of despair parted, hope shined just a little (must’ve been the wind). “How was it today?” I asked. “It wasn’t as bad today,” she said. And by Day 3 she was able to traipse off to camp with nary a tear or outburst. — Linda Lynn

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›