Up until about a week or so ago we referred to the boat as “the boat”. It always felt awkward, like we wanted to say “home”, but it wasn’t home – it was the boat. Now, at the end of a long day, everyone says they want to go home – and that feels oh so nice.
I had to leave Pat and the kids for several days last week while I dealt with some outstanding issues in another state. I wondered how I’d feel coming back to the boat after having the luxuries of a car, hair dryer, shower, sleeping without thinking about my house moving, TV, etc. Would I dread coming back to the constant stress of the boat? When I stepped back onto the boat I realized it’s home. I wanted my own bed and the rocking that comes with it, I wanted our uncertain and exciting routine, I realized how much I can’t stand what is on TV, and most of all I realized I can’t stand to be away from the kids and Pat. We are together almost non-stop and while at the beginning of this adventure that was a tough transition for me, it has become something I enjoy completely. Even though we each have our own cabins, we all tend to hang together during our downtime in the salon, cockpit, or snuggling in our bed (just like at home our bed is apparently superior to all other beds).
I know the kids so much better than I did when I sent them to school everyday. As an example, I remember only seeing Noah after soccer practice at night for about an hour before it was bedtime. When I asked about his day, I usually just got a “good”. I had no real concept of what he was learning, what he knew, what he liked doing (other than soccer), what his academic strengths were, etc. Now I know he loves math and science, is interested in how things work and wants to be an inventor, he is incredibly curious, he likes snuggling his mama, and he really enjoys being called upon to do things that we would only ask of the “oldest”.
While of course we have our moments, generally speaking I think we all really like being around each other so much. We know what makes each other tick, and the kids are really bonding. Noah and Grant had an on again off again relationship before we left and just the other day when Noah was asked who his best friend is he said it is Grant. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that made my heart swell!
We’ve heard that families who have lived on boats together find it hard to go back to living in a big house with so much space between them. I can see that being the case for us.