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Retreating, part 3

Saved the best part of the trip for last. Above and beyond retreating, having down time, receiving amazing teaching sessions, spending quality time with close friends and community, there is the pure joyous fun of the kids having the time of their lives. The highlight for them, and us too, was hand downs the pools. That’s right, I said pools, plural. The first opportunity we had to swim we hit up the smaller pool closest to the Lodge. Next day we checked out and spent the entire afternoon at the big pool with many of the other families.

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Honestly, I was a bit unsure how the girls would do with the pool. Araiya is incredibly scared of deep water, I have tried several times to acclimate her to the concept of swimming at the indoor pool down the street from us with little success. She loves water, but only when it’s bathtub depth. Because of Araiya’s reaction, I have been unable to adequately expose Tallis to swimming much at all, so we had no idea what her reaction would be.

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Tallis has become a little fish. Her comfort in the water is amazing. I had bought the girls cheap little goggles, hoping having their eyes protected would help promote getting them to put their heads under water. It totally worked for Tallis. Over and over she wanted to dunk her head, puffing up her cheeks to hold her breath, and look around in the pool. She was secure enough with me holding her belly and allowing her to float around on her tummy, blowing bubbles and dipping her face. It was pretty awesome to watch her blossom in the water and beg for more, even after she had turned blue, teeth chattering and shivering.

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Even Pia was a baby fish. Her initial reaction was one of, well,

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But soon she was splashing around and giggling. Even she loved to float around in the big pool with her sisters in Mom or Dad’s arms.

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Then there’s Araiya. She had a total blast in the Baby Pool and on the first three stairs of the bigger pools. Anything beyond that was clenched arms and legs around a parent’s neck, clinging and choking for dear life. I think it is really a trust issue, she doesn’t want to let go because she is unwilling to trust that it will actually be fun and worthwile to try something new. She is increadibly comfortable with what she knows, yet stubbornly unwilling to venture beyond that.

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It’s pretty funny though in light of that to see her encouraging Pia and telling her what to do. Telling her even the things that she is unwilling to do (like holding her breath and putting her face in the water) and moreso things that are far beyond what Pia can (and should!) do.

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I keep thinking back to what a wonderful weekend we were gifted, the time to take a serious step back from the craziness of the everyday and really be able to focus on close relationships. Of course, the girls keep begging to go back. A year’s a long time to wait, but we are already looking forward to the possibility of this happening next year too!

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