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Boating with Bella

bella boating in pond in potter valley bella boating in pond in potter valley bella boating in pond in potter valley bella boating in pond in potter valley

When my siblings get together, our conversation often goes into the realms of quantum physics, science vs religion, spirituality, "magical thinking", consciousness, medicine, healing, singularity, etc.... There are usually a few who dominate the debates while others sit by and occasionally chime in, or busy themselves preparing food, and the children play together in a world apart from the adult colloquy.

There are four children in the newest generation: my three nieces and one nephew, though my older brother's two daughters have been living mostly in Japan the past year. From that generation, this Mother's Day weekend visit to my parent's house included only Bella as her older brother stayed home sick with their father.

Immediately after arrival, the adult siblings went at it with each other, and even I got myself involved in the dialog after turning my father's espresso strength coffee into a couple iced coffees (partly diluted by Alicia's ingenious coconut milk based "non-dairy creamer" invention) and drinking enough to see an increase of color saturation in the world and make my brain feel like it was full of helium with electrically charged colloidal lead.

I became aware of Bella's behavior on the sidelines, her complaints of tiredness, and Alicia considering if Bella was coming down with an illness. I offered to take Bella out on the pond in the raft and she began to cheer up. Bella and I played pirates in the boat, keeping a watch on the shore where the pirate zombies were gathering to eat us, and staying clear of the water where the pirate zombie fish were waiting to bite at our limbs. After our playtime Bella's energy and mood had substantially improved and I realized how draining or boring it must have been to be the only child among adults having such a tired discussion.

Children need to play and children need other children, even if it's an adult pretending along with them.

bella (5), boating (2), family (35), pond (3), potter-valley (65)

Degree (56), Family (48)

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