This is what I said to her after she skipped practice: My darling daughter, fortunately for you, your mom graduated from West Point and served in the US Army during her 20s which means I have discipline in spades; unfortunately for you that means I’m a bit lacking in the empathy department. Since you have the added bonus of a combat veteran father, you and your sisters will be taught what it means to have integrity. We hope that you choose to embrace this character trait as it will guide you towards a bright future.
If you call your mom at 2PM because you forgot your running shoes, I will wake up your baby sister from her nap and bring your shoes to school.
If I have to stop preparing dinner, and bring both of your sisters with me to pick you up from cross country practice THAT SAME DAY, and you cheerfully tell me you played with acorns instead of running with the team because you “broke” your leg during stretching, there will be a consequence. Instead of attending fun activities, you will run with your mom. I'm not in Army fighting shape right now, so running at my pace won’t kill you. However your incessant whining may lead ME down the path of insanity.
In case you haven’t noticed, our family may be a bit different from other kids in your middle school. We’re so glad to have you as part of our team, and in a decade or two we hope you will realize we tried our best, and be thankful for your years with us. In the meantime, let me introduce you to your first rules of operation. I’ll call them “Suck-It-Up Cross Country Style”:
1. It’s not “fair” is a 4 letter word in our household.
2. Church youth group will never trump cross country practice.
3. Learning how to survive a side splint builds character, your mom and dad think it’s awesome you’re learning this at age 11!
4. In our family, if we start something, we will finish it, even if it takes 10 times longer than it should. (I had to remind myself of this when I trained for my first half marathon).