Which makes it Amana's sixth trip.
This year, we are staying in the Wheelabout. A house I first stayed in with my big girls, long before we ever thought about adding an Amana to the family.
A hundred different memories.
A few years ago.
And a hundred different memories, precious now but deleted from my phone as being repetitions of a dozen different themes. I had that luxury then, forgetting that one day there would be no more new ones.
It's hard. Two girls echo through the walls here, and it isn't the two girls who are currently sitting in the room next door to me, complaining about having to be quiet as the rest of the house sleeps.
And I'd forgotten how hard it might be for Amana too. Lining up to take a photo in the place we've posed before, often with different friends, but never without her big sister. I wonder if I underestimated how hard it was for Imi, to come back here without Yelena in past years. And I wonder whether we should go to new places, find spaces to be where memories don't trip us up around every corner.
But then Amana comes out of her grumps to remind me of somewhere else she'd like to go. And loses her fear, puts her face in the water, and submarines her way across the swimming pool with just three breaths.
We have been here with family, with friends, and it is different and the same every time we come. For a girl who has seen too much change, it is safely familiar, and there is joy in the remembering. Security in planning each day, with a hint of panic still when memories of her sister swim to the surface, despite her best efforts to squash them down.
Maybe it would be kinder to find somewhere new. But maybe too, she needs this familiarity, these stumbling stones across her path, these reminders that her sister did exist.
And because her life is never that simple, in addition to being busy working hard not to remember her sister, she now has to make decisions about further surgery, an op which would probably improve her daily life, but would be fairly unpleasant in other ways. And it's got to be her decision, and that is a lot to place on a grumpy grieving-although-she'll-never-admit-it eleven year old.
So here we are. And we will have a good time. Zoo trips and pottering around town and racing wheelchairs on the beach. Friendship and fresh air. And echo shadows of my two big girls around every corner.