Friday, February 5, 2016

Rainbow spaghetti

Coloring books are not what I remembered. Grand Daughters M and C, Grand Son M, and I were trading markers back and forth, putting color to the intricate design of swooping and overlapping lines that filled the page. Faces pinched in concentration gave display to the challenge of tracing the twisting paths, each of us laughing when one of us “got lost”. The normal routine for the last few days would have seen us all in the pool or on the beach. But pale mid-western winter complexions needed a break from the Florida sun, so we were spending a few hours playing indoors.

Outdoors lay Ocean, beach, heated pool, hot tub, and shuffle board, all amenities put to good use as the week unfolded. It was the first time Kintala's crew had been consistently off the boat since...well, its been a few months anyway. Though we did return to our v-berth each evening for sleeping, each day saw us joining the family at the beach, morning coffee still in hand. The Ocean was the main draw, but the chilly water temperature and surf reduced ocean play to mostly wading. Grand Daughter EB (youngest at just over a year old) was fearless, doing the toddler stomp due east until the wavelets broke over her knees. Mom was always at hand to make sure all was well, since the usual result of such boldness was landing on hands and knees, little face close to the Atlantic waters. As soon as she was on her feet she would set out for Europe once again. 
Wrestling with grandkids makes a great day
We also spent hours in the pool where Grand Son G went from barely getting wet on the steps on day one, to clinging hard to the sides on day two, to paddling happily across the pool by day four. Grand Daughter C (the oldest) was shy about getting her head wet, at first. By week's end she was jumping into the deep end and staying under water as long as she could manage. Each of the kids, in the way that kids do, got a little bolder as they pushed their fears back, making their way in the world. I try not to think about how many more little one's fears they will have bested by the time we see them again.

The temporary intersection of being boat gypsies and resort vacationers was interesting. I think it fair to say that we live a bit “raw” as boat gypsies. Sleep is often interrupted. (Last night we were on deck at 0400 resetting the fenders as the winds shifted.) We adjust for the temperature by adding or shedding sweat shirts, long sleeves, and shoes. Weather discussions are frequent and often detailed, getting it wrong means more than just not having the umbrella at hand should it rain. Now that the much anticipated time with family is over, nearly 700 miles lie between us and where we need to be by early spring. A good many of those miles are waters Kintala has never passed through before. By any comparison with resort vacationing, it is sure to be an adventure. Not all that different from toddler stomping eastbound into the waves.

A fog bow over the beach
When we do see family again, all of the kids will have learned new skills, found new places to explore, and learned some new lessons. Each will have experienced the tangled up, interwoven ribbons of living, will have pushed some back fears, and managed to overcome challenges unexpected. There will have been moments when they felt lost, but eventually picked up the trail and sorted things out. They will have stories of rainbow spaghetti.

And so will we.

Kintala on the dock at Daytona Marina

1 comment:

Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

Nice. An admirable bit of writing!