- voluntarily showered in the cold public pre-pool shower
- played in the pool, as long as I held her
- took three baths, only two of which included other kids for moral support
- and happily played in the ocean, eagerly searching for the next wave that would knock her down.
I realize that sounds like a fairly mundane description of a beach vacation, but for each of these things E overcame a big hurdle. She has held such a primal fear of water for so long that we weren't sure this trip was a good idea at all. This week marked her first bath since August; she's been showering with parental escort since that time, and not nearly frequently enough, because we don't have the stamina for the battles. So to hear her yelling at the waves here comes a big BIG one! or at me in the pool tell me KICK, Mama, tell me KICK!, I don't know, it's not altitude sickness affecting her because we must be more or less at sea level, it's just the best sound of childhood happiness. Hooray for peer pressure and the four other children we're vacationing with, because their fearlessness and even recklessness have had some profound effect on our cautious, overly-analytical daughter. Peer pressure: use it for evil, or use it to splash in the Atlantic.
Also worthy of a headline, L turned six months old this week. She'll never remember this trip, but I'll remember it for so many firsts: her first time in a swimming pool (her first time in a bathing suit, her first time in sunscreen), her first trip to the ocean. She celebrated with a gluttonous bowl of avocado and a nap on the beach. And what a fine way to celebrate.