We live on a boat with a teenager. A teenager who, in all honesty, didn’t want to come with us to Quest last September. Of course we can’t blame her. Like our Ellie said when she came to stay – ‘I didn’t even want to go on holiday at that age, in case I missed anything.’ Ha! That’s our Lu. Except we’ve taken her away for months and months. Bit more than a holiday.
The initial days of taking Lulu away feel a bit further away now. Phew. Like the days when she would disappear into the boatyard at Trinidad. Apart from places to hang out, such as the air-conditioned showers, it turned out she also enjoyed spending time in the big, industrial dryer.
Then, the look on her face when she realised she couldn’t have unlimited data to chat to her friends back home. We were just pulling into our first, stunning anchorage off the Grenadian island of Carriacou when she made the connection. Nothing like having an unhappy teenager – in paradise. We discovered how quickly paradise can lose its edge. Really quickly it turns out!
We learned we couldn’t force our teenager to be happy. What we could do though, was to keep the consistency of her schoolwork going. I figured if she was going to be miserable, she might as well be smart and miserable. I wouldn’t maybe be the worst parent in living memory then.
It’s ok. I figured she’d probably forgive us some day. It would most likely probably pass. She’s my sweet girl after all.
That’s kids. Sigh. They can be as mean as they want – and you’re still remembering the good stuff. After all, Lulu was our full-of-beans little girl. The one with the strawberry-blond fringe, gaps in her baby teeth who nose-squashed you with her own nose to tell us she loved us. The one who sang at the top of her lungs when she was happy. The one who wasn’t scared of anything.
She’s in an in-between place right now. I can see that scuba diving makes her really happy. She also got her nails done for half-term. Nails? Nails on a boat? She has always liked acrylic nails. And we promised her. Good grades = acrylic nails.
With this, Lu got the grades and even found the salon in Bridgetown. Now she has new friends. The ladies at the salon called her baby-girl. And she has a set of killer nails. Last night we went kayaking in the anchorage. Lulu sang at the top of her lungs.