Chapter 2

There was a lake in the area of the park where they were camping. However, because of the isolation of their camp it wasn't too close. One day the family went there. Xena was a strong swimmer and she immediately swam far out.

It wasn't long before there was a commotion on shore. Gabrielle and Callisto wanted to follow their older sister. Since they couldn't swim, that was a problem. "Why don't you stay by Mommy and play over here?" Bridget pleaded.

"Want to go where Xena is", declared Callisto.

"Me too!" added Gabrielle.

It was hard for them to accept that Xena was able to do things they weren't. Bridget called to her oldest daughter. "Xena, could you come back here please."

Xena didn't notice at first; she was having too good a time in the water. When she did notice her mother, she came back. "What's up, Mom?"

"Could you please play with Gabrielle and Callisto? They want to be where you are and they can't swim."

"Oh, Mom! You mean I have to baby-sit them again. I'm tired of it."

"I'm sorry, Xena. They're too young for a lot of the things that you do and they do look up to you."

"They should learn how to swim like I did."

Thomas agreed. "We'll see that they get swimming lessons when we get back. I know we should have gotten them lessons for this trip but we didn't. So, in the meantime, could you help us out?"

"O.K. O.K. Come on." She led her sisters away from their parents and played with them in the water.

"I want you to be a monster who tries to attack Gabby and Phaedra and I beat you with my sword", Callisto told Xena.

Xena agreed. "O.K." This was very lame and stupid. Gabrielle frolicked with her doll and Xena went over to get her. "I've got you now."

Gabby screamed. Then Callisto jumped forward. "Leave her alone, you mean monster. I will get you." So then they fought until Xena dropped and Callisto claimed victory. Then she and Gabrielle started dancing.

In spite of her irritation, Xena couldn't help but smile. She had to admit that the two blond cherubs that were her sisters were sort of cute.

So as the trip went on Xena developed a certain tolerance for family togetherness. Not too much, however. Xena honestly loved her parents but had missed her independence as she was increasingly called upon to be with and care for her little twin sisters. They were always around. There was no getting away from them.

Still, on this trip, she was starting to feel somewhat better. Camping could actually be O.K. She did like being outdoors. She was an outdoor girl after all. As for the trips to exotic places that she missed, maybe she'd get a chance to resume them again after high school and college