No More Pencils, No More Books

29 Sep


“Time to start school.”

“I don´t wanna do school, today.”

“You have to do school – it´s important.”


“Come on, it won´t take long.”

“Alright, alright! Fine! I´ll do school.” I turn away from Erik and lean out of the cockpit. “Kids! Time for school!”

Teaching is my primary job aboard Papillon. It took me a while to figure it out – don´t ever think that elementary school teachers are just breezing through life – but now the kids and I have a system that works well for us. Most days I look forward to our school time, and all three of us have fun. But there are days when I open my eyes in the morning and the weather is cold and rainy, or we´re in a particularly interesting place, or I don´t feel so great, or I´m just plain lazy. On those days I want to call in sick and skip the whole thing. I´m having one of those times. And this is not helped by the fact that the girls are having one of those times, too.

Our rule has always been: every day is a school day, unless something else is going on. We never make it seven days in a row; there is a always a break in there somewhere. Longer vacations come when we have visitors or two-parent disruptions (like applying antifouling before the rain comes back.) We haven´t had a big break since I took the kids home in April, so we are due for a rest. And as luck would have it, guests are coming. October will bring on-off-on alternating weeks of visitors. Vacation time is upon us.

This means, however, that we have to be good now and get something done. But not one of the three of us is making it easy. Do you remember those last few days befor


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