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The Res

Lainey’s favorite chill spot.

My daughter Lainey is five years old and I love her. The heat has been sweltering lately, which gives the kid a one-track mind.

“Can we go to the res today?” she asked.

Arlington's  is an eight-minute drive from our house, and we panted like dogs in the hot car the whole way.

In the dirt parking lot, I slathered sun-block on Lainey, grabbed the beach chairs, towel bag, snacks, water and entered the beach.

“This is a good spot,” Lainey suggested.

“Let’s find something a little shadier.”

We settled under the shadow of a weeping willow, set up the chairs and Lainey ran to the water. I was right behind her.

“Come play with me, dad!”

I flopped in shoulder-deep and Lainey did the same.

“Time to swim!” She smiled. She dunked underwater and swam about four feet.

“Great job Lainey!” I applauded.

“Watch this. I’m going to swim all the way to the fountain.” She swam four feet again.

“I’m just coming up for a breath,” she explained. Four feet later, “Another breath.” And another.

She made it to her mark, looked around a bit and swam back toward me.

“Can you spin me, dad?”

I lifted her halfway out of the water, turned in circles and she giggled.

“Faster!”

A few more spins and she switched gears.

“I know!” she announced. “Throw me!”

“All right,” I agreed.

I picked her up, counted to three and tossed her gently back into the water. She went under for a couple seconds and came up wiping her hair away and rubbing her eyes.

“Not so high next time,” she instructed.

After about 20 throws, I convinced her to crawl on shore and have some pretzels. We kicked back in our beach chairs and watched other families play in the sun. Soon Lainey shed her towel and walked back in the water.

“Come play with me, dad!”

I took a deep breath, put the pretzels away and smiled. Usually, werun  into a friend down here and Lainey plays with them. But sometimes it’s just us, and that’s fine with me.

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