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Friday, August 12, 2016

What I Did On My Summer Vacation 2016

We just got back from vacation.  It was a good one this year.  Less sad.  Last year...mere months after Leslie passed, I found myself more or less miserable, "trying to keep things the same" for the kids in a condo that was wayyyyyy too much the same as the one we'd spent our vacation in the previous summer with Leslie still alive (since it was exactly the same room and condo).  The price was right, and so we did it.  And I'm glad we did it.  But it sucked.  That probably doesn't make a lot of sense.  

We were pushing past firsts...or I was...wanting to get PAST the first vacation without Leslie, BEYOND our first Mother's Day and Anniversary and Christmas...get it to a place where people stopped asking how we were doing with our firsts.  Get to a place where I could compartmentalize better because the people who loved me weren't constantly reminding me to think about what we'd lost.

That's not to say I don't think about it.  But it's more manageable.

We went to Hatteras this year.  I think it's officially Waves, but the names of the communities down there blur together like the days do when you're there.  Rodanthe?  No...we were further south.  Chicomacomico?  no.  Waves?  is that even a place?  Hatteras Island?  Whatever.  It's about 30 minutes south of Nags Head...which is MY favorite vacation spot for the family.  And it was very similar to that experience.

I won't get bogged down in the minutia of our day to day, but one thing I did notice...have been noticing...is Lily's issue with her swimsuit.  She hates it.  And I don't mean the suit itself.  The concept of  Swimsuit...like Plato's Justice or Good or Right...the purest essence of the word/virtue.  Capital letter Swimsuit.  Any suit that fits that mold.  SHRIEKED no.  Bit.  Pawed.  Scratched.  Screamed.  And then it would be on...and she'd start to calm down, and have a good time.

My sister bought her a couple surf shirts in a flash of inspired brilliance, and she willingly put one on, not realizing that it too was a Swimsuit.  But as soon as the swim bottom came out...all bets were off.

Maybe it's that it's such an extreme transition.  I tried to be as quiet and calm...gentle and reassuring...slow and painless...as I could be.  Made no difference.  I tried timers (usually a great tool for Lily).  No good.

If I thought that the swimsuit hurt her, I wouldn't even have bothered.  But she could barely feel it.  The bottoms slide somewhat loosely over a swimmie that she wore without complaint.  I had bought two new suits before vacation just to make sure it wouldn't be too tight (wondering if, from previous experiences, that was the problem).  And I guess it wouldn't have been the end of the world to just let her swim in a swim diaper and a surf shirt.  She'd have been fine.  That's on me ultimately.  It was our pool.  It's not like I was worried about drawing stares.  I just felt she should have a suit on...

Anyway, I guess I feel like in her mind it's just a big giant scary transition.  When THIS goes on...I get wet.  I go in the pool.  I swim.  I feel a shock of cold before my body adjusts.  I don't know.  Still looking for easier/more agreeable ways to get her into her suit because...

She loved swimming in the pool, or standing in the ocean waves, letting the surf boil around her toes, feeling the swirling sand and the soft tickle of churning foam before the wave retreated.  And she was swimming.  It was great.  With a pool noodle under her arms, she bicycled around the pool wherever she liked.  It would take a half hour or so to get her in past her ankles...then her knees...then her hips...then up to her neck...but once she was in, she never got out.

Maybe it's just scary enough, just cold enough, just weightless enough, just wet enough...that she doesn't want to do it...until she's doing it.  Time will tell I suppose.  I'll keep trying.

Emma spent more time with her cousin than me, but that was okay, she liked having the independence.  They went to the beach or the local stores, or the ocean, and she hunted for pokemon or boogie boarded, or just played in the pool.

And we did get time together, playing in the pool, shopping for friends' presents, or walking the beach with her Aunt and me.

I wouldn't exactly call it a "relaxing" vacation, but it was a fun vacation.