Friday, December 06, 2013

Last Quiet Moments on the Boat (for a while)

It figures that the magnitude of leaving would hit me when I got up to go to the bathroom this morning at 5:30am.  It's kind of sad.  I have been so busy these past few days, pushing myself too hard (for my condition), making too many lists and checking too many things off of them that I never really had time to slow down and savor what is happening which, like I said, is a good thing because it has kept me at an emotional arms length from it all.

While there is a very large part of me that is ready to come home for this hiatus (namely my ever-growing belly!), of course I am sad.  This is going to be a hard transition for me.  I'm a little nervous how I will handle it all.  Don't get me wrong, like I have said a million times before, we are going to begin another great chapter and we have incredible friends and family and a very good situation before us which will have innumerable rewards, perks and benefits.  But I really, really like living on our boat with our baby.  I am going to miss watching Isla climb around the deck and rigging like a pro, the way she maneuvers like an old salt around lines, cleats and winches (it is pretty incredible to see, let me tell you!).  I am going to miss her little v-berth and the way we cuddle up there, so close with so little room.  How, because it's not well lit at night, I need to wear a head lamp to read her her bedtime stories, how she instantly becomes the sweetheart of the anchorage or marina, strutting down the docks, waving "hi" at people she meets and flashing them her million dollar smile.  Watching her revel in a new place, with new people... seeing her soak it all in and take away little cultural trinkets like the way she says "bon jour" now from time to time instead of "hi".

I'm going to miss nice day sails to new places, watching her move around like an expert in her little tether, the way she gets all situated in the cockpit and plays with her toys.  I am going to miss having our family - just us - be so close and together twenty four hours a day.  I am going to miss morning dips in the ocean, watching Isla play on the beach, swimming with her and watching her blossom as a little fishy sailor baby.  I will miss singing songs to her while she lays on my chest in the cockpit when underway, watching the birds and the waves and the breeze blow by under the sunshine.  I am really going to miss our friends and the precious love that has developed between Isla and Stormer (they are more like siblings now than anything, this is how much time we have spent together) when Isla hear's their dinghy pull up she screams with excitement, scrambles up the companionway stairs and squeals in her most I-am-so-excited way "HIIIIIIII!!! HIIIIII!!! HIIIIII!!" Obviously I could go on and on and on but I will stop since I am pretty much emotionally cutting myself here ('emotional cutter' - an awesomely hilarious phrase I learned the other day, it's when people unintentionally torture themselves, often resulting in emotional strife and tears, by doing things like watch sad videos on the internet or forcing themselves to cram a lifetime of memories into a blog post).

It's funny - as I am rattling these things off - the most I am going to miss are all things related to Isla and us as a small family...because bringing her onto the boat completely enriched our cruising experience and I 100% believe that this babyhood on the water did nothing but amazing things for her development.  So, yes, there is a little part of me that feels almost like I will be robbing her when I bring her back to land.  Of course I know this is not true, I know that she will thrive wherever she is and her awesomeness is not just a result of being on a boat for the bulk of her short life, but a combination of many things.  And she will gain new skills on land and benefit from a host of new experiences and people that I am not able to see just yet through my foggy glasses.  It is going to be fantastic and, just as it was the last time we went home for a hiatus, it's going to be just as hard to leave there as it is here.  I know all these things.

But the bottom line is this:  as much as I appreciate where we are going and why we are going there, there are a lot of aspects of this lifestyle that I will long for (and - admittedly - some I will not!) and the change will probably be a hard one for me, at least at first.  Luckily, as I have learned the last few days, nothing will keep a mind from dwelling like extreme busyness and in a couple months I am going to have a LOT going on and there will be no time for it.  This is a good thing.  And man am I excited to meet these little baby girls in my belly!

But right now, as I lay in my dark aft cabin alone while my mom and sweet baby still fast asleep, I'll just listen to the hum of our cabin fan, the sound of random waves splashing against the hull and the wind as it whistles gently overhead.  I am just going to let this all sink in and savor these last few moments before I hear the sing-song "mommy! mommy!" of our little Isla waking up with laughter and giggles in her bed.

Oh!...there it is now.  Gotta run.


ksummerhill1 said...

As you know dear B, you are so blessed. I look forward to your posts as they are raw, honest and quite frankly, unapologetic. My life today is not what I would have planned, so I could look at you with envy. But no, I read your posts and it brings a smile to my face. I hope our paths will cross one day. Peace, Kathleen, xo

Unknown said...

You know...Isla is a very lucky little girl, in that she is a world traveler at her tender young age. She will do fine on land too, and when you are ready to go back on your boat with 3 kids in tow, I have no doubt, everything she has learned will come back to her quickly, just like riding a bike, and she will teach her siblings all they need to know to become boat dwellers too! Looking forward to reading about all of your land adventures, and the birth of the twins! <3

Anonymous said...

Safe trip !! Safe stay ! And speedy return !! I'm gonna miss y'all !! Gonna miss your "sea" blogs ! But I totally understand !! Take care of the lil sailor girl ! And the ret of the oncoming crew !! Lol..... said...

I was so relieved to see these last couple of blog posts as I was just not ready to say good bye -- so thank you for indulging your greedy and grateful audience for just a few more days.

I stumbled upon your blog while doing research for my own (hoped for) circumnavigation and, as a fellow Chicagoan, have been thoroughly engaged by your story. I find it to be inspiring, edifying and just plain enjoyable.

In Monday's post, when you said, "I kind of feel like we're breaking up" -- it was like a glass of cold water in the face! I had no idea that was even a possibility.

Although I totally understand that you're going to be an uber busy gal in the months and years to come, selfishly, I hope you'll keep up with your blogging. Reading your blog is a delightful part of my day and I can't bear the thought of doing without it. Even if it's sporadic and has nothing to do with cruising, I'd be hard pressed not to want to read it.

The not-so-selfish truth is that you're also an immensely talented writer with a distinctive voice and it would be a shame if you stopped working at your craft.

I know you'll handle this new phase of life with your usual aplomb. It won't be easy but please do share a blog, now and again, to let your admiring public know how you and your family are managing. I know I'm not alone when I say we're all rooting for you!

I hope your transition and reentry to life on terra firm is seamless, smooth and filled with much joy, health and happiness. Take care!


Anonymous said...

Transition is hard for anyone...however think of all the great first's Isla will have on land. I want to see a picture of her first snowman!! And when you miss the closeness of the v-berth, build a little "fort" with blankets and climb inside and wear your headlamps for story time :)

Have a great trip!

Rosemary & Mark

Anonymous said...

How could you NOT grieve for what you're leaving behind? You can't yet know of all the happy moments that lie ahead whereas the beautiful memories you've created are crystal clear. And it is a huge change, in so many ways! But that little one of yours is going to thrive wherever you are, because of you and Scott and her own bright nature - and her happiness will foster your happiness. With so many people sending you good karma wishes I know that you will be better-than-okay after a little adjustment period. I envy those two tiny babies who will soon be in the arms of a loving family - a fascinating family I've loved getting to know. All the best!

Patricia said...

As I have said before - I understand how you feel. One reason is that you and Scott have worked so hard on the boat and on your skills to get to this level of cruising/sailing and you don't want to lose that.
I hope you continue to blog - you are very talented.
If you want a few good laughs while waiting for the twins, buy this book - "On the Wind and a Prayer" by Paul Koestner (Amazon). It is laughs out loud funny.
Good luck with everything -can't wait to hear the next chapters.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Isla will at some point ask you when you are going to go back to the boat? You will have to let us know when this comes up. Will she be lying quietly on her bed at night and bring it up as you tuck her in? I can imagine a puzzled look on her face as she asks you the question. I'm sure it will be hard to answer, but at least you can tell her that you will again at some point.

Turf to Surf said...

Awww. I completely feel for you and can see how hard this is for you. I can't believe I can go out to sea for a few months and you're on the brink of a hugely expanding family! But don't worry... that boat's not going anywhere, and neither is the world. You're on the cusp of exciting new times, even if that means leaving the boat for a while. Those kids are some lucky human beings :-)

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