The older you set sail, the more the salt preserves you – All Things Sailing
Having left the girls alone for an hour or so to perform some essential task (ok it was spearfishing and boat cover on the reef, but we didn’t catch anything except a small lobster which Jack let go), we came back to a combination of bird’s nest and cat fight. We live on a boat with two teenage girls. Our girls.
In these moments, I get to know how a union really feels. Listening to how one kid got so mad she deleted her sister’s Snapchat. The other feeling she needed to retaliate by deleting her sister’s Instagram.
How did it start? It’s an question which both girls feel they have to answer simultaneously. To be honest, I never asked them. I already know. The union knows. A series of slights – possibly both real and imagined. Magnified by lockdown.
I’m not the only one in this sibling situation, right? I mean, I’m not sad they deleted each other’s social media apps. As internet data is limited, we usually need to cull their usage anyhow. I calculated it quietly as I listened to them. Deleted apps = problem solved.
I wish that had been all. Ha! Not my two. My two had been waiting for their parents to return to the boat so they could get physical with each other. Let the hair pulling and shrieking begin. In these special moments where I need to throw myself in the middle to extricate fingers and release clumps of hair, I like to ask myself: do I have the world’s biggest set of doofus children? Rhetorical. Maybe.
I sent my teenagers to bed as if they were gigantic toddlers. I wonder then if we made them this way, or if they found this method all on their own? And could I sell them somehow or relinquish all parental responsibility during this extended lockdown period? What about swimming? Could I escape by swimming to another island for example? Ok, I know; I’m getting ahead of myself. Cranking up the self-pity. Really they should be doing the swimming.
But this is our strange reality right now. And of course we are lucky because they are both loved and safe from real harm. An hour later – actually more like 20 minutes, they were out of their respective rooms. Sorries and hugging and can you make me a snack?
‘I hate you both,’ I replied. ‘Go have a swim. A long swim. Don’t come back in an hour. Maybe a whole day. Swim for a whole day. Make me remember when I had no children and no problems. When I could have joined all those happy crafting clappies and knitted a dolphin a blanket over lockdown. Maybe did some kitchen science and found a vaccine.’
Who is going crazy in this lockdown? Not me. Definitely not me. I just need the salt for preservation. Oh, and school re-starts tomorrow.