Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free

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.

10 comments:

Red Charlotte said...

What a beautiful post. I'll try to follow your lead when we have our own little ones. I'm sure it will be incredibly difficult. :)

Artistmama said...

Sweet!

I struggle with this as well. I loved reading the Continuum Concept and definitely agree. They need to learn to trust themselves.

Becca

Linda said...

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your lovely comment about the turtle I was giving away on my blog! You are most kind. There is a turtle in stock in my shop at the moment, if you want to see him just go to www.mamma4earth.etsy.com

Your blog is lovely...

Thanks so much

Warmly

Linda

stefani said...

this is so lovely. Thank you!

Mimi Hornberger said...

I just wanted to thank you, so much, for what you share. I look forward, each day, to see if there is a new adventure for Zach Aboard.
This life you are living with him is so incredible to watch. I am so happy that I found your blog.
Thank you!

boatbaby said...

Charlotte - thank you... it takes a lot of inner zen to let your babies be free.

Artistmama - life changing book, isn't it?

Linda- thanks for the link!

Mimi - you are so sweet! I am flattered that you enjoy my little corner of the world and check in regularly, thank you!

Lily Boot said...

Oh I so know what you mean. In a literal sense, we had a sailing holiday around the Whitsundays a couple of years ago (islands which are part of the Great Barrier Reef) and I found it SUPER difficult to let Abby MOVE whilst the boat was moving. There were times I was truly frightened and it was all I could do not to clutch her to my lap and stay glued to the couches in down below. And yet this is just a more extreme version of what we often face. I admire your courage - it will give Zach courage and sense as well. Enjoy your weekend of sailing.

Jenell said...

I've been thinking about this alot lately, too. It is so hard to trust in your child's innate wisdom. It is so hard to trust in one's own wisdom. It is so hard to trust that the world is not all bad.

I liked in The Continuum Concept when Jean talked about how our bodies have the expectation to be injured. That we are designed to deal with these things, to heal.

Thanks for sharing your trust with us.

shelleycaskey said...

what a great post. i, too, have always loved 'the continuum concept' but also struggle with 'letting go'. thank you for your lovely encouraging words. :)

boatbaby said...

Lily Boot -- oh the Whitsundays. I dream of the Whitsundays. *sigh*

Jenell -- I think about that part of the book all the time. I have to almost mumble out loud to myself, "He NEEDS to experience this to develop properly".

Shelley -- that's the whole craziness of it all -- being an attached mama and letting go all at the same time?! I have friends who literally have xerox copies of pages from CC and "How To Talk..." stuck up on the refrigerator as constant reminders...

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