Burning Man called up a week or so ago.
"We can't get our kids into sailing lessons until they turn 8," he said. "I figure we should Tiger Woods them."
He then told me about something called an Opti, how he had gotten one for his kids and how it would be more fun for his kids to learn if our kids learned, too. And then he told me to check my email because he had gone and found another Opti on Craigslist and we should run, not walk, to go get it before someone else beat us to it.
Shortly after this conversation, I found myself at the beach with Burning Man and his family. He put his Opti in the water and took the kids sailing one or two at a time. I had envisioned a boat that could only fit a 6 year old. I thought Sugarplum was going to learn to sail while I dutifully paddled along behind.
Turns out, it holds an adult and two small children (it looks like an octopus in a teacup, but who cares). At one point, Burning Man pulled up to shore with a gigantic smile on his face and said "remember, we're getting them FOR THE KIDS."
And the next thing Chris knows, he's been bullied into driving his truck to the farthest possible point on the Cape from our home, to go pick up a boat of diminutive charm.
Which is how Old Salty came to be part of our family. She is still sitting in the back of the truck, boxed in by lights, speakers and mixing boards, but nevertheless, she is here. I cannot wait to get her out on the water. You know, for the kids.
Assuming no one mistakes her for a planter between now and then.
The thing about all this that is so amazing to me, is that I'm actually doing it. I have habitually been the person who says "yeah, that would be fun" and then not doing it. If it's out of my circle of comfort, I am not much of a go-getter. And yet, I have found myself launched into some pretty awesome things lately.
Like backyard chickens.
And sailing lessons. I wanted to do it for years but always figured you either had to have a boat or a pile of cash. I never even looked into it until Mrs. Howell went and signed me up. I think there's a feeling of "I'm not good enough or grown up enough or rich enough or whatever enough" to do something. And then you find yourself in the middle of it and go "darn it, I could have been doing this for years!"
I used to think I had maybe taken a vow of poverty in a past life. But there's a difference between being attached to material things (or status) and living in a non-impoverished manner. There is so much to do and see and experience. And I'm awfully grateful to the people who have pushed me beyond what I think of as me.
Old Salty, we're going to have an awesome summer.