Having kids is challenging in the best of circumstances. But when you choose to sail away from your support system, consistent schedule of activities, all hell can break loose. On land, we had friends with whom we had playdates, story time at the library, free events going on at the park districts, swimming at the YMCA at least once a week, etc. Life revolved around a very organized schedule of activities. The weekends were always more flexible but we tried to balance being out having adventures with just chilling out after a week of busyness. Then, we uprooted this whole shebang and moved onto our boat. We spent hours on end on the go, day after day for several months. We left all our family and friends as well as our rote schedule. Now we are flexible based on what Josh’s needs are in terms of projects or repairs. The m.o. aboard Interlude has very much been divide and conquer since we’ve been living afloat. The demands of upkeep and repairs can get insurmountable and since that is Josh’s area of expertise, the corraling and entertaining of Fozel often falls to me. So, we sometimes go to the park. We sometimes go to the beach. We sometimes go on random walks or ride our bikes. We sometimes go to storytime at the Book Center. The biggest mistake I made was not taking the time to get plugged into the local kid scene though. Partly because I didn’t think we’d be here anywhere near this long. And partly because we didn’t have a car. The bus only gets you so many places and if it’s more than 3 stops away, forget about it with Fozel.
And now I’m kicking myself. It’s been a missed opportunity on all fronts. Sure, we’ve had wonderful mornings and afternoons at the beach or park or ice cream shop. I just feel like I’ve been letting him down in the socialization and education aspects. It’s a lot of responsibility making sure he’s getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, nourishing food, and rest. Add in making sure he’s getting socialized, educated and having enough attention/one-on-one time with us, and it can be overwhelming. The days just don’t seem long enough. I see that there are families that are doing this with multiple kids and it makes me want to go back home and give up. How?? Fozel’s needs alone are a full time job. And even there I feel like I’m failing him. I don’t know the solution of parenting, obviously. It’s hard any way you slice it. I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, which is my best. Teaching him, comforting him, playing with him, and most importantly, loving him.