Posted by: First Mate | April 8, 2014

Parenting. Join the Party, Especially if You Don’t Have Children.

We don’t live on the boat but that was a fantasy of mine for a while.  I could shelter my daughter from the Disney channel and she would grow up independent like Pippi Longstocking, strong and filled with loud, off key songs having fabulous adventures with other boat children while proper ladies frowned at their adventures and behavior. Right now I am sitting at my desk, trying to crank this out while listening to my daughter and her father belt out ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen before she does her homework and practices piano.

Okay, I like ‘Let it Go’.  I like ‘Happy” By Pharrell Williams more.

For me the lesson of parenthood has been about flexibility.  From the onset, I was out of control.  I had this hippy fantasy that I would have a ‘natural’ Bradley Birth, in a hospital. I could hypnotize myself for the pain.  The universe had other plans and we are both still laughing. My doctor said “They call it MODERN medicine for a reason.” My husband would roll his eyes and drag himself to our Bradley classes after he had raised three amazing kids.  When I checked into the hospital the nurses almost fell over with laughter calling out of the labor room to the reception desk – “we’ve got another natural birth plan.”  I still applaud that I lasted 12 1/2 hours.

While I also worked, I made her baby food, went organic, did Mommy and Baby yoga, music classes, small fry aquarium education. We passed on the fancy private preschool and moved to the small rural town of Kahuku on the North Shore of Oahu. Shrimp trucks and Samoan NFL football players are from Kahuku. In my Super Mommy bliss, I looked at the other children in her preschool who were well behaved and ate everything instead of whole grain pancakes and organic fruits – they often had Spam, a gumball and fruit juice for breakfast.  I’m not saying it’s the right breakfast – but these kids were happy. All of the sudden the veil of Super Mom was gone.  In stepped a saner, semi rested mom who would drive her kid around the island so she could nap and I could listen to NPR.

She is now a 4th grader and won’t be living on a boat anytime soon.  Her interest is animals – chickens, goats, birds, guinea pigs and her new favorite pets –  rabbits. Horray for me, I have become the poop lady.  Parenting is about showing up, being honest and allowing children to live their own dreams.

I still choke back laughter at some of the things that come out of this child’s mouth.  I used to be fanatic and reserved in regard to cursing… I seem to belt dirty words out like a stevedore. On the way down the driveway today, she says to me “Mom, please don’t use that language, I get enough cursing at school from Kala’iku.”

Me:  “oh, what did I say?”  I must have been muttering to myself about work?

Ruby: “You said the ‘c’ word?”

Me:  “What?! You mean the ‘S’ word?”

Ruby:  “The ‘c’ word that means the same as the ‘s’ word.”  Ah, now we are getting somewhere.  Okay, I won’t be using C-R-A-P consciously or unconsciously in the future.

I try to model healthy behaviors for my child, but at heart I am wild and impulsive and still recovering after attending an all girls Catholic high school, thus I am asking the world for a lot of forgiveness on this one. I am an optimist, so I am pretty sure she will be fine. And as a brilliant friend without children said to me yesterday “they’ll figure it out.”





  1. I love you!

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