An afternoon at horse camp tells a lot about a person–especially a Girl Scout. There are the girls who ignore the animals. Those disgusted by the piles of poop and general lung-infiltrating poop smell. Those who really want to ride the horses and don’t take “not until you’re in second grade” as an answer. Those who race to the horses and insist on being the very first to pet them.

And then, there are those who stand and braid the horse’s mane. And hold hands with the other troop members. And check with each girl to make sure they’re having a good time.
Horse camp, meet Catie.
It’s not that Catie’s particularly girly. She was fine with plopping down in the poopy sand and filtering it through her fingers. And she’s not that into hair–mostly because she inherited my hair that’s as fine as that sand.
But it seems like she’s also inherited my dislike for anything competitive and aggressive. Instead of fighting over who got to comb the tail first or who got the best brush, she busied herself with this braid.
Maybe I’m assuming a lot about my daughter from just one afternoon at horse camp. But it’s not just one afternoon. It takes one to know one.
If her childhood ends up anything like mine, avoiding competition and confrontation with her peers might give her friends, but sports will not be fun for her. If she really does lack the passion to be the first and the fastest, she’ll get her feelings hurt a lot when she realizes most other kids do have that drive. When she’s standing at the back of the line, hoping everyone else is happy, she’ll quickly realize no one is worrying over her.
If I could tell Catie to push herself to the front of the line, would I? Being a competitor, focused on the goal will probably save her a lot of heartache through life. But she is who she is. And sometimes a cowgirl just wants to braid hair and talk softly to the horse.
And ask it how it likes horse camp.
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1 Response
  1. Reminds me of Sara – no wonder they so adore each other, they don’t have any reason to compete – they can just make sure the other is happy. Too bad they don’t always feel compelled to make Mommy happy. (at least at Sara’s age, they don’t).

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