It’s Just a Seat. Or Is It? // My daughter was forced to constantly give in

By Raizy Friedman

When I sent my 13-year-old daughter off to summer camp for the first time, she went to a wonderful place. I had heard so many good things about it that I was sure she’d come home bubbling with happy memories. I figured she’d pick up some finer points of social interaction. I also hoped that she would make a good friend.

Just to clarify, my Shaindy is no social misfit. She isn’t at all awkward. She’s on the phone with a gaggle of classmates at any given time, and often on a conference call with several girls at once. She just hadn’t made that you’re-my-friend-and-I-can-count-on-you-saving-me-a-seat-on-the-bus friend yet. We had discussed several possibilities before she left, and I was davening that one of them would pan out.

When I went to the designated departure area, I saw clusters of mothers and daughters, married sisters and crying babies. The heat was unbearable, and my water bottle under the carriage was warmer than the carriage hood. There was only one bus, and about 100 girls were vying to get on it. The next bus, the lady next to me said, was coming soon. Whenever that would be.

The cluster of girls my daughter knew all managed to squeeze their way onto Bus #1. My daughter did not. “It’s only a bus,” the chaperone told me when I asked her if there was any way my daughter could still get on; she was willing to squeeze into any available seat. The answer was no. I swallowed. Project Making Friends would have to wait a couple of hours.


To read more, subscribe to Ami