A few days ago, I dropped George off at the harbor so he could get the boat ready for the trip north of town to the shipyard, where it would be hauled out for maintenance. As George climbed out of the car and headed for the dock ramp, I imagined how the trip would go. I thought about how the boat would glide, unhurried, upon the bay of blue, making its way underneath summer’s sparkling sun. I thought how nice it would be to hop on board and go along for the cruise.
I was, however, in no way prepared to take any sort of trip like that, and put the thought out of my mind as quickly as it entered. I lacked food, toys, and life jackets for the little ones, as well as any other possible thing we might need to keep everyone happy and occupied on the trip.
Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to leave for Jazzercise, I received an e-mail from my sister, who wondered if we wanted to go out to our other sister’s condo to enjoy a day of sun, snacks, and swimming. I quickly decided it was an offer I couldn’t refuse and said the kids and I would be there after lunch.
I knew George wouldn’t be able to go because he’d already told me how he had to drive the flatbed into the big city to drop off a boat propeller and pick up the bottom paint, as well as pick up some zincs (for controlling electrolysis on the boat). Upon his return, he planned to varnish the wood for the new deck at our house.
So, as I washed the faces of Eva and Vincent, I glanced into the doorway where George stood preparing to say goodbye and told him about our plans for the day.
George shocked us by deciding a day at the condo was an offer he, too, couldn’t refuse. So, instead of tying down and securing a propeller on the Ford flatbed and spending the day driving in 90-degree heat, he tossed a couple of pool toys, a small ice chest, and a baby bag into the back of the Ford pickup. We buckled in the kids, I climbed in last, and off we went down the highway.
Days like these are precisely why I choose to remain a stay-at-home mom in my commercial fishing family. Whenever possible, I don’t want to have to tell George or my little ones that Mommy can’t go to the beach, or the park, or enjoy a treat in the sunshine. When you are married to a fisherman whose stress and boat work does not end with the fishing season, these kind of opportunities for spontaneous fun don’t come along very often.
It’s important to me to be available when they do.
This is a picture of the Vis hauled out in the shipyard.