Chart Number 157 (Vacation Spurts)

February 6, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these special Spurts from Hawaii, readers!

On our first morning in Hawaii we took our time getting ready for the day. With a four-hour time difference and 10 hours of flying time behind us, we were all moving slow that morning. This still didn’t prevent the girls from following their normal routine.

Six got out of bed and bounded around the room with excitement. We’d talked about this trip for a long time, and she couldn’t believe we’d finally gotten to Maui. She kept chattering about everything we could possibly do that day.

Eight, with her toothbrush halfway to her mouth, came out of the bathroom.

“Hey, lady!” she called to her sister. “Come here and brush your teeth!”

She said it with such panache that it made all of us giggle.

***

Later that day we went to the pool and took a dip. The two pools for families provided plenty of space for us to play, and one of them served as the landing area for the water slide. Six braved the twists and turns of the slide, and while she said she enjoyed the slide itself she forgot to hold her nose when she slipped into the water and didn’t enjoy the sudden rush.

We asked Eight if she wanted to go down the slide, and she gave her father and me a resounding “no.”

Her answer didn’t surprise me. The Y where the girls take swim lessons also has a twisting water slide, and once I spent 45 minutes after a lesson trying to convince Eight to go down the slide during open swim time. I kept trying to use different words to convince her, and she stayed adamant. There was no way she would go down the slide at the Y.

I’d kind of hoped, there, in Hawaii, that if she saw her little sister go down first that Eight would change her mind. But she didn’t. That didn’t stop us from trying to convince her again. But she stayed adamant again.

During the next day or two we talked about the slide at various times. I decided to back up and try something simpler.

“Why don’t you at least think about it?” I said. “Don’t say yes or no right now. Just say you’ll think about it.”

Even Eight couldn’t refuse such a reasonable request. Her dad jumped in and tried to sweeten the deal by promising her a trip to Disney World. Then he upped the ante. For every time she’d go down the slide, he said, we’d go to Disney.

I don’t know if that helped sway her opinion, but not long after that conversation Eight said she’d think about it. The following day she said she had thought about it and was leaning toward saying yes.

“That’s my girl!” I exclaimed.

“That’s my girl!” Six said right after me.

I guess she’s our girl.

***

Haleakala National Park is the major volcano site on the island of Maui. It’s a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1790, so it’s a popular site for tourists. At a height of 10,000 feet above sea level the top of the volcano definitely takes a person’s breath away both for its place in the clouds as well as the topography. We did a little bit of hiking to get to the top and were treated to an amazing view. I stood there for a while gazing at the dark sands and the mini peaks created by the eruption and the elements over time.

On the way back down the mountain Six ran up ahead with her dad and hiked with him. Eight stayed with me, and we took a little bit of a slower pace. As we walked we chatted, something I thoroughly enjoy doing in these kinds of moments.

Eight reminded me of her fear of heights, which I’d forgotten about only because she takes being up on top of a mountain so well.

“I’m a down to earth—and I mean that literally—down to earth kind of person,” she said.

I had to smile at that one, and when we finally did get back to the base of the volcano I could see the relief in her face.

***

On Thursday we got to celebrate our wedding anniversary poolside, and Eight made her decision: she would go down the slide. She and her dad trekked to the top of the staircase and then made the twisting, turning journey to the pool. About three minutes after hitting the water, she broke into tears.

Again, her reaction didn’t surprise me, but it did make me a little sad.

A little while after she made the brave effort I had to go to the bathroom. I left the kids with their dad in the water and made my back to the ladies’ room. When I got back I saw Eight grinning from ear to ear.

“I went down the slide again!”

I almost did a double take. By the end of our trip Eight went down the slide a total of five times and taunted her father that she’d earned five trips to Disney World. Suddenly her dad got a case of amnesia.

I asked Eight later what changed her mind. When she’d gone down the slide the first time and started crying, she declared that she would never go down it again.

“What happened?” I asked.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I just thought about it and decided to go down again.”

Well. Maybe it really is as easy as that to jump into life’s challenges—literally.

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