Friday, September 6, 2013

When Two Become Five

Since we arrived at anchor, the girls have lived outside.  They have swung from the halyards and splashed noisily in the water.  They eat on deck, read on deck, and generally spent every moment they can in the open air.

Why?  Not because we are finally somewhere warm(ish).  Not to escape Dad pulling up the floorboards (which only happened twice.)  No.  Their loud, obvious presence was a beacon, a signal fire: We're Here.  Come Play With Us.

Finally, that call was answered.  A dinghy putted over containing rare treasure: three girls aged nine, seven and five.  (Plus their parents, but since when do they count?)  The girls had seen the swinging display, and insisted on immediate delivery to our boat.  The family was on their way to run some errands, but the girls swarmed Papillon for long enough to become fast friends.

One of the major challenges of cruising with kids is finding friends their own age - and keeping them around.  Some days I feel as though there are only a couple of dozen "kid boats" spread around the world, and we've always just missed the last one.  So when we find another compatible family, everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

For the rest of the day - like clockwork - Indy pestered.  "Is it time to go to their boat?  We should call them.  I think we should go to their boat now."
"Honey," I said, "they had things to do.  We'll go by tomorrow."

Little did I know that a similar drama was playing out two hundred meters away.  The other girls were watching our boat through binoculars, hoping Indy and Stylish were going to come by.  But, as usual, all of the parents in this play were too dumb to do what the kids wanted.

The next morning, the girls and I stopped by on our way to the grocery store.  I was hoping to make a date for later in the afternoon, once school and chores were complete.  But their new friends swooped Indy and Stylish off the dinghy so quickly that I was left clutching the gunwales and trying to get my balance.

Today, they all ran off to the beach.  I managed to get in a morning of school first, but I could see that their minds were already on their schemes for the day.  As they should be.  Friends are precious, especially when they sail away so soon.  I hope they enjoy these days.

Because Indy and Stylish will be stuck with their dumb parents again soon enough.


Anonymous said...

The picture says it all- oh to be young again
Love Mom

Paul in Iowa said...

Amy & Erik, fun to keep up on where you are and what is demanding attention on the floating RV. Can never accomplish all the preventive maintenance required. Glad the girls have some current (though short-term) friends. Where are they from and where are they going? Enjoy these days, your girls will be grown and gone before you know it. Hot and dry here in Iowa this summer. But the calendar reminds us autumn is fast approaching this month and I must be thinking of snow removal on the runway and taxiway before long; changed the oil in the snow plow already and am servicing the standby generator. I have been able to sail some this summer in our sloop, but not enough. Keep me dreaming!

Amy Schaefer said...

@Paul: Autumn? Snow?? What are these crazy things of which you speak?

And there is never enough sailing time. Just grab every moment you can.

Kate said...

That looks fun! The days are getting cool here too. Had a good start to school and Red has moved into her new room.spend our day planning, buying, making and eating food. It's been a good day. Love to all. Kate