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)...how 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.