What is this thing with the connections to our kids that just causes all kinds of suffering? It isn’t the actual children who cause the suffering. I want to be clear about that. Our kids are great and always have been. It’s the connection to their lives, the CARING about them that causes all the suffering. You know how when a woman is pregnant, she is allegedly ‘eating for two’? Well, that kind of thing doesn’t necessarily end with the snip of an umbilical cord.
As our regular readers may remember, we are looking for a nice little sailboat for our son, Andrew. We want him to have the experience of single-handing his own boat, of knowing the freedom that comes from being able to go just about anywhere your boat can take you. So we are literally boat shopping. And this is where that connection with Andrew, directly through my heart, causes me so much suffering.
If you’ve ever shopped for anything as important as a boat, you’ll know what it’s like to be on that particular emotional roller coaster. Hopes are built. Hopes are dashed. Hopes are built again, only to be completely dashed. I see how he tries not to get his hopes up, so mine go up twice as far to make up the difference. I see how he tries not to be too disappointed when a boat turns out to be a piece of junk, and my heart plummets to depths his will never reach because I know he cannot afford to get that emotional about it yet. The more he tries to moderate his own response, the more mine gets crazy. I am emotional enough for two.
We found a cute little Westerly 22 Nomad for sale and loved that one. It needed work, but the potential was easy to see and Andrew’s heart went ‘pitty pat’ when he thought about owning it. Everyone knows that’s the real test of whether a sailboat is right for you. If it doesn’t make the heart sing, keep looking. We arranged a second visit and I had my checkbook ready because I just knew THIS WAS THE BOAT!
We were ready to enter negotiations with the owners. Unfortunately, these owners, who knew nothing about their boat and had never sailed her, also did not understand that the word ‘negotiation’ here means that both parties come to an agreement. They just said ‘no’ to our initial offer and that was that. No counter offer, no nothing. They were decidedly strange and the whole deal had started to feel wierd so we walked away. My heart thumped. My stomach ached.
Andrew has looked at a couple of San Juan 23’s. No go. They are usually stripped down for racing. Likewise the little Catalina 22’s he’s looked at. These have all been little boats left to languish like orphans with no one to care for them. Sad, but too much work to take on, and no amenities to make a boat comfortable. Time, and his summer, marches on as we drive all over creation looking at these lost causes. With every new expedition we hope we’ll see a decent boat for a reasonable price. Most turn out to be crap.
But today was different. We saw what looked like a nice little Ericson 25 on Craigslist for a very reasonable price. The boat looked clean and the ad said it was in great condition. Andrew called, and an hour later we were looking at the boat. It was terrific! It was perfect! The minute I saw the owner, a retired military officer, I knew his boat would be in excellent condition. I was right. We all fell for this boat the minute we saw her. Andrew and I exchanged surreptitious looks. Mike and I glanced at one another in that knowing kind of way parents have. Our hearts were singing in perfect harmony.
We were ready to write the check immediately. Then the owner said he actually had someone else who called first and said they would buy the boat, but wanted to see it first. Although this person had yet to be able to come to the marina and follow through, he felt honor bound to let that person see it first. We were sitting there with the checkbook practically in hand. There was no way to argue with his position as he felt like he was doing the right thing. He and Mike shook hands with his promise that should the other ‘sale’ fall through, we would have the boat. We walked away feeling just about as low as dirt.
It’s just about killing me! This is the perfect boat for our son. It’s clean, comfortable, in excellent condition, and sail ready. It’s also in our budget. I’m probably not going to be getting much sleep until after Tuesday, when this other person is supposed to come see the boat. So what I need from all of you readers is to ‘believe’. Prayers would not come amiss here. BELIEVE and PRAY that this boat is meant for Andrew, and that he will be the proud owner of this great little Ericson 25 from Gig Harbor by July 3, 2012. Be specific in your prayers! The boat has no name, but Andrew would consider calling it Sea Monkey, so you can use that name in your prayers. And we’ll keep you informed about the progress. Meanwhile, my stomach really hurts. And I feel a headache coming on. It’s impossible to truly cut that umbilical cord, I guess.
And I do not even want to THINK about what it’s going to be like when we really start shopping for our own boat. We are going to look at a Cal 39 with the perfect layout that just came on the market this week. ARRGGHH!