03/14/18 – Family Bonding Through a Clogged Toilet (Todd)

The truth is the foundation for our trip was begun long before 2017, long before we cast off our lines, even long before we owned a sailboat. It began with the birth of my first daughter Lauren when I was 17 years old. It began with the choice to focus my time on my life and what I wanted for my life at that time. At that time, with a newborn child. College, friends, success, freedom. Fast forward in years and while the focus has changed, what did not was my focus remained on what, “I” wanted. Financial freedom, hard work and being a provider justified working 80 hours a week and being home 5% of the time. While financial support of one’s family would rank high as a Nobel endeavor in the general society, my girls, my wife did not agree. Onward I pressed. It is what felt right to me. As a father, husband and man.
When we first set sail from Anacortes WA in August 2017, I had envisioned an entirely different adventure than we have had. Floating in the romantic vision of far off islands, ancient tribal cultures and days on end sailing through the vast open ocean, stars, sea life, the wind. Following my lifetime dream of being Jacque Cousteau. This childhood romantic vision has ultimately fallen, “short”. Two young children who we are responsible for schooling, two pets, client demands and the honest reality that life on a dock is just simple. To be clear, this dream was one of those dreams I always had, but never would have ever guessed I’d experience…especially with my family! I could not be more thankful for the opportunity!
Six months into our epic adventure as a family, I have been once again reminded that one of the oldest cliché’s in the book remains correct. It’s the journey not the destination that defines the adventure. While we have explored some amazing places, the majority of our time has been spent in the La Paz and Mazatlán Marina’s. At a dock. Connected to shore power. Restaurants and swimming pools. Far from the lone deserted islands I had dreamed of. Don’t get me wrong, these are amazing marinas and beautiful places, not better or worse, just different than I had been expecting.
What I have learned though, is the ease of marina life has afforded our family the one thing we have most needed. Time. Time to connect. Time to play games without the stresses of anchorages. Time to simply be as a family. What I am slowly starting to understand is that what is at the foundation of this trip, is simply our time together. Our hours spent each day homeschooling our girls. Experiencing the heartbreak of a daughter as she says goodbye to her first love. Experience the pain in our youngest daughter’s eyes as she desperately tries to figure out how to save every cat and dog on the streets of Mexico. The hours spent playing cards at night, laughing at each other’s idiosyncrasies we now know so well. The connections only gained when one has to navigate how to get your child’s/parent’s latest head (bathroom) visit to flush down the toilet. Ahhh the good times. It is these, to some extent dull moments, that bring the magic to the journey.
Yes, we will not always remain tied to a dock. I am confident we will continue to explore remote and interesting places. But the knowing that whether we are exploring a town, city or remote beach, we continue to grow together as a family and more than anything, that our two girls are forming perspectives on this world that they could never gain from life on the hard. While it ain’t always easy, it’s simply worth it.

4 thoughts on “03/14/18 – Family Bonding Through a Clogged Toilet (Todd)

  1. Awesome writing, Todd. When I’m reading it I feel as if I’m there.
    I’m very happy for you and your family. Such an emotional
    experience!

  2. Love your honest reporting of this wonderful experience you are having. I’m so
    happy for all of you! Orcas will be here when you get back. 😊

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