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I’ve noticed the children haven’t wanted to speak a lot with each other about Arayla’s hospital journey. They’ve just wanted to recalibrate to one another, to play joyously as well as quarrel in familiar ways. Ezra( almost 6) and I definitely needed to process upon our return, and I’d say he and I are still finding our equilibrium in the wake of what was a pretty big disruption to our family field. And Arayla (9.5) and I have been speaking daily, many times a day, about her journey, what she learned, how she’s feeling now, what she received from the experience. But the two together have seemed almost resistant to speaking about it.

Last night after dinner they were drawing together at their art table, one of their most peaceful pastimes, and all of a sudden I heard Ezra say: “You know, Arayla, that was really too many days for you to be in the hospital. I didn’t like it. It really didn’t work for me.” And Arayla, still focused on her drawing, nodded, responding soberly: “Yeah, I know. It didn’t really work for me either. It was a long time.” And Ezra said: “Yeah. And you know what? I really, really, REALLY missed being with you.” At that Arayla looked up at him and smiled lovingly. Their eyes met. Then she said: “Want me to draw you a picture?” And Ezra said: “YES. A shark and a boat?” Arayla took a new blank sheet of paper out of the stack, and said: “One shark and one boat coming right up, Sir.”

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