We have been landlubbers now for eight months. Eight months. Two hundred and forty-four days ago we packed up our boat and moved back stateside to await the birth of our twins. Time flies when you're havin' babies (yes, plural). I realize I am pointing out the blatantly obvious when I say that the cruising community is pretty impermanent. Most people do not cruise indefinitely and many have very distinct dates for their sailing sabbaticals, be it a year or more. The point is: the life aquatic, for the vast majority, comes to an end for one reason or another and people move back to (dun-dun-dun): land. This is often referred to as "re-entry". For some, this is an incredibly difficult time fraught with feelings of displacement, sadness and confusion, for others - it's time to...well... yuck it up, refill the kitty and enjoy the many perks that land affords.
So...how have we 'adjusted' to life as landlubbers?
Pretty seamlessly, thankyouverymuch. I mean, this is land we're talking about, not prison. There are as many benefits/advantages/plusses to a life ashore as there are a life afloat - they are just different. It's all about perspective and how well you adapt to the situation at hand. It doesn't hurt that we have some pretty incredible friends and family around us as well...
Scott and I have both been fairly transient in our lives from relatively young ages. We are pretty adaptable. I'm not sure if this attribute is the result of or the reason for our wayward tendencies - but I have learned that adaptability might be the single-most important trait for the gypsy soul, and maybe even life in general. After all, it was Charles Darwin, the foremost authority on adaptability, who declared: "It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change". He was right. The ability to become accustomed to new conditions is not only helpful when traveling, but also when coming home....and, come to think of it, when getting married, starting a new job, moving house, and - er - having twins, to name a few.
I must admit, by no means has this transition to "landlubber" (and, more specifically) "mom of three" been effortless and smooth. There is a very, very large part of me that longs for the cruising life again and when I scroll through my photos of the last few years (man did I take some awesome pictures!) I am overcome with nostalgia. On the "mom" front, I have had my fair share of mini meltdowns (and one big one that might possibly have shared a spot with "mental breakdown" in the ven diagram of emotional health) as the result of going from one child to three over night. But I also strive to enjoy the here and now. And the here and now is pretty dang good. We are surrounded by family and friends, it's summertime, and we're taking advantage and enjoying all the "perks" (of which there are many) that land life affords. We've enjoyed going out to eat with friends and spent quality time with loved ones. We've basked in modern conveniences like refrigeration, an endless supply of running water, stand up showers, well-appointed grocery stores, take-out food, comfy beds and the luxury of having a vehicle at our disposal. We've gone to concerts, gotten good and quaffed at tailgates and barbecues, and lounged pool side. All of these things have made life pretty grand for the time being, and having lived without many of these conveniences, we have a marked appreciation for them. (Particularly the DVR and ability to catch up on our favorite show Modern Family.)
More than anything, however, being home has been a necessity thanks to operation "family supersize", and big changes are sometimes more palatable when you don't really have much of a choice.
The past four months since the twins' birth, while wonderful, have not been without difficulty. The sleepless nights, the frustration, the exhaustion, the non-stop "I-don't-sit-down-all-day-and-don't-brush-my-teeth-until-evening" reality that is three children under the age of three have been... rough. I cannot even IMAGINE how we would have survived the "twin trenches" on a boat without any help. I'm sure it would have been possible, but not pleasant. Nope. Being home has been fantastic in this regard, and I for one greatly appreciate this time immensely (namely: my mother, have I mentioned she is a saint?)
This hiatus has also afforded Scott the time to indulge in his passion of real estate, and in a matter of weeks after returning home he got his license and was up and running like a regular Phil Dunphy. He's got several active listings, a property that he is going to "flip" and we even have a rental on our radar so (fingers crossed) we'll be heading back to the boat with a little cash in the kitty. And Isla? Little Miss Isla is thriving. She loves her friends, the parks, the museums, the play dates, exploring in the backyard, walks with grandma, mornings with grandpa...She hasn't missed a beat. Kids wrote the book on adaptability and she is no exception.
Of course I miss the boat. Of course I miss cruising. But I know that living in the past prohibits us from moving toward a future. When I look at pictures of our friends who are still "out there", I don't feel the least bit jealous or envious (well, okay, these guys make me a *little* jealous) because having lived the life of a cruiser, I also know that there is a flip side to those images and it's not all palm trees and beautiful beaches out there. Not to mention the thought of sailing through a squall/doing boat work/provisioning ashore/fixing broken stuff/sweating in the hot summer sun without AC...etc. with three babies right now does NOT sound appealing.
So, while we haven't put down any roots, we'll enjoy the view from our happy little nook in suburbia for a while longer. Now that we have re-entered and adapted (and summer has arrived), it's not so bad. In fact, it's downright enjoyable. Change is good, for now.
The sea can wait, at least until winter returns ;).