Monday, April 30, 2012

But what about kids?

Like most young married couples, Eric and I endured our fair share of questions regarding our plans for procreation. (Do you have kids? Why not? Are you going to? How many? When?) Well, let me assure you--moving onto a boat during your prime child-bearing years only increases these types of inquiries. 

Prior to becoming visibly pregnant, when someone found out that we live on a boat, they'd (wrongfully) assume we only planned to live aboard until we had children. The question of what we'd do about kids was typically directed at me. Often, the person posing the question sought reassurance that I wasn't crazy enough to consider raising a child aboard a boat. For the times when I didn't feel like defending my life choices to a complete stranger, I'd smile and say, "Nothing is permanent." And although this response was philosophically correct, it was also intentionally misleading. The truth is that Eric and I bought Sea Gem with kids in mind, and we have every intention of raising our child (or children, should there be more) aboard.

Now that I am visibly pregnant, child-related inquiries have morphed from the concerned "So you'll only live on the boat until you have kids, right?" to the panicked "What are you going to do when the baby comes?!?!" Again, these questions are most often directed at me. I suppose people assume that because I'm a woman, I possess some sort of natural instinct to protect my offspring from the evils of sailing. Although there are plenty of people who are intrigued by our decision, the group of people who are most supportive of our choice to raise a child aboard (aside from our family and friends) are other sailors. Usually, when a fellow sailor realizes we're expecting, they respond with "Great! You're going to stay on the boat, right?" And, while nothing is permanent, I always say, "Yes."

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