Monday, March 11, 2013

The family that lives on a boat together, stays together--a lot

A day at the beach (still at West End) with kids from another boat.
Being on a boat with no place to go is like putting your family in a crucible. Any quirks or issues that irritated you even a little before are magnified a thousand times when there's no physical escape.

When we first moved aboard and I started to spend all day with the kids, I thought I had made a big mistake with this whole living aboard as a family thing. Before when I was at my desk at the office, although I often wanted to be somewhere else, I could concentrate and complete tasks in relative quiet most of the time. Even though I was a cog in the wheel, I felt like I was accomplishing something.

After we moved aboard, the days were filled with school, parks, walks, reading aloud, and games of chess that devolved into crying, interrupted by constant refrains of "Mom! He hit me!" and other such classics. In other words, a normal day in the life of a stay-at-home homeschooling mom with two young sons. All with the backdrop of paradise. However, I was not used to it and frankly wasn't sure I could do it. Matt was occupied with boat-fixing activities. There was stress related to the boat work taking much longer than we anticipated and costing a lot more.

Fast forward a couple months and all that angst seems like a distant memory. We have settled into an easy rhythm where the boat is our moving home and we can explore the world and get to know each other better. Even sailing all day for several days, sometimes in (relatively) rough seas, did not prompt the whining I expected. Every day there is something new for the boys to see and learn and get excited about. It is an amazing privilege to be able to do this with our boys and they are teaching us lessons about a fresh perspective and enjoying the moment. That is not to say that things are perfect. There is still whining and poking (and that's just Matt and me). And we are just starting out so we may feel differently after a year. But I feel like I/we can do this.

Slipper lobster. Not enough for a whole dinner but mighty tasty.

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