It seems that the everyday life of the Totem cruising kids is somewhat opaque in recent blog content (thank you reader email for pointing that out!). They’ve been pretty busy- just a little differently than the normal ways that a 9, 11 and 14 year old are busy. Here is a smattering from the last few days.
Siobhan started a little bakery business. On Fridays, there’s a vegetable truck that comes around to sell fresh produce to cruisers in the little bay where we are anchored. She’s gotten up early to do some baking and earned a nice bit of cash by selling muffins and pastries to the cruisers who come in for veggies. She pays me back for ingredients, and keeps the rest of the proceeds.
Niall built a raft from all the driftwood and garbage (an esky, plastic sheets, fishing line) that washes up on the beach of the little islet where they play every day. He rigged it with a crab claw sail and took it for a spin. (Thanks to our anchorage neighbor Nigel for this shot!)
With help from their friends on other kid boats, they’re building shelters on the beach: forts, hideouts, tree houses. Some of these were started before they arrived, others they’ve created on their own. Honestly, this tree house terrifies me, and we’ve had The Safety Talk. I trust them, but… well, I’m still their mother.
Notice the hammocks, strung up between trees around the bonfire area from fishing nets. There’s even a dried-out puffer fish “chandelier” dangling overhead to complete the image.
They built a network of trenches on the beach. I asked why. They just said “for fun!” Well, OK! Niall said that when they put a leaf structure over the top it’s a nice cool spot to rest a while. It’s hot here. I get that.
It’s a long skinny islet that we’re anchored off. Yesterday’s discovery was a shed snakeskin. That’s a little disturbing for mama bear here, because snakeskin = snakes, and not all the snakes around here are the kind you want to met on a dark tree limb. We think we’ve identified it as a harmless tree snake, but it’s hard to really know for certain.
Back on Totem, kid-driven carpentry is happening. Wood scraps have been reclaimed from the area under the aft cabin berth as it is cleared to make room for our much-anticipated new battery bank. As the pieces which can become giveaways or scrap end up on deck, the girls have requisitioned them for their own projects. First on the list: building a box to hold their treasures in.
What else? They read. A lot. Sometimes it seems like a ridiculous amount, and I want to redirect them: go swim! Sweep the floor! Kayak! SOMETHING! Then I remember- they have fallen in love with reading, one of the things I perhaps irrationally worried about the most. In the world of life skills on their docket, I’m happy. Niall is deep in history books (re-reading 1776). Mairen is in the middle of The Lord of the Rings series. Siobhan has started the sixth Harry Potter book. And I wondered if they would ever be “readers”…
A bonfire in the evening brings us together with the spread of crew from other boats. Happy evenings, roasting marshmallows on a bonfire on the islet.
Related post: facing fears about raising kids differently.
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This article was syndicated from S/V Totem - a family sailing the world