I am writing this in the wee hours of the morning as my boys sleep. It doesn’t really matter because all I have to do tomorrow is relax some more. I am kept awake by the sound of krill pecking at the boat — tiny little fish most famous, to be sure, for their singular line in FINDING NEMO, “Swim away!” as Marlin and Dory are swallowed by the whale. They are generally quiet as they as miniature, except when there are thousands of them like now — pecking into the boat, hopefully cleaning the bottom. Graham is nestled on the settee next to me in his Pokemon sheets and as I lookout the porthole past him I can see a boat called “Oceanchild” and I think how well that name fits this child who slumbers next to me. I thought he learned to love the water on the Jersey shore but as I see him more and more in different waters everywhere and how he acclimates immediately, it occurs to me that he was probably born an oceanchild.
We are in lovely Charleston for a while as we make our way up the coast. We had some trouble on the passage here as the wind died in the middle of the night and then the engine died immediately following. We had to wait till first light for Matt to start working on it and after four hours and no fix we had to be towed 10 miles into the harbor anyway. It was tedious but vacation nevertheless. I keep thinking that if we were home right now, Matt would be away at his annual meeting in Chicago working 16 hour days, Graham would be studying for the dreaded Standards of Learning Tests and I would be rushing around as usual trying to jam it all in. Instead, Matt doesn’t work as such, rather he makes Graham and me laugh in the carefree way that reminds us of why we love him so. As we cruise I often think of how lucky we are to spend this family time together. To some it may seem stifling, but I am appreciating this time with Graham who probably won’t want to be hanging around his parents for too much longer. We get to play games at dinner like going round and round the table trying to name as many Troubadour absolutes as we can: Always leave the head handle to the right, no food down the sink, if you take out a cold water, put a warm one back in, get rid of the cardboard at the grocery store — no cardboard on the boat (roaches!) and many more.
As we while away the hours, I try to tell Graham stories that are new — about him, about me, about life, his family traditions, anything. When we were at home and I worked in the jails, substance abuse prevention programs, child abuse prevention programs, etc. we always stressed the importance of talking to your child from day one. So I like to talk to him about anything in the hopes that when he needs to, he will talk to us about something. I do a little bit of the same with Matt, purely for the entertainment value and to pass the time on a crossing. We sit in the cockpit and I try to think of stories we might not know about each other (however, if you reference the November blog history, you will note that we took first place in the Newleywed Game in Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas), It’s after 2 and it’s June 5th now so I’d like to give a shout out to my dear friend, Ken, whose birthday it is today! Our love to you all.