The perfect weekend weather. The construction barges have moved on and out of the way. We're finally free...
Z was a bouncing bean and literally spent the whole voyage jumping on the tramps with a smile glued to his little face, while I had to find my inner Mama Zen. The Worry Wart in me says, "Boy, get back off those tramps while we're under way and sit still in the cockpit where I can breathe easy and keep you safe." And the Continuum Concept Adventurer in me says, "Despite the gray hairs I'm getting just watching him, I need to trust him. I need to let him find his feet and develop his own way on the water. He NEEDS to do this in play form now so he can hold his own on board down the road."
How can you raise little adventurers if you don't let them have their little adventures?
He will scrape his knee and bump his head and break a bone and push it to the edge. But he's becoming THAT guy, the one who's been around boats his whole life and will read the wind and waves as easily as he breathes. The guy I looked at with envy when I was in my 20's and started sailing seriously, struggling to learn the ropes.
My job is not to shelter him and tell him what to do, I need to let him find his way and be there when he needs me. I think of all of the experiences I had when I was younger, and often my first thought is "I'd die if Z did THAT!" But my parents let me be free, all the while withholding judgment or anxiety or control, just letting me know they loved me and they would always be there. The freedom to travel with my friends as a teenager. The freedom to sleep on the streets of Chicago to get concert tickets. The freedom to move on to a boat. The freedom to sail off to Cuba and be incommunicado for 2 months. The freedom to raise my family afloat.
It takes every bit of strength I have to stand back and let him go forth and be free. But I know how vital it is, because it's the life we lead.