25 October 2011

Congratulations, it's a Girl

This evening it dawned on me that "Joy" is our version of having a baby.  I suspect we are like that
couple who discovers they're pregnant unexpectedly. We bought and moved onto our boat before we really knew as much as we should about any aspect of cruising and like expectant parents, we reassure ourselves that there really is no perfect time and that we'd never be as prepared as we think we should.  And here she is, this boat that I love but also live in dread fear of. Every unfamiliar sound it makes might mean something that needs attention, maybe something serious.  What will I do when--not if--something breaks?  Will I figure out how to fix it myself?  Will I have to call in a specialist?  Will one be available?  Am I already remiss in taking care of her?  Is there something I should be doing that I'm not and will this have deleterious consequences in the near or distant future?  Any moment of every day something could go bad.  Eventually something will.  Sooner or later, she'll come down with something.  What then?

Oh, sure, fix it or get it fixed.  But what if we (and by "we" I really mean I) suck at it?  I thought I'd be good at home remodeling and what a hash I made of that.  What if I just can't figure anything out?

There's really only one way to do this and remain marginally sane (an aspiration I frequently hear both new and not-so-new parents utter): Learn not to expect from us more than a day's worth of good intent and honest effort each day.  So at the end of days like today, when I nearly burnt out the fresh water pump because I was preoccupied with other matters and only peripherally aware that the washer had been on the same cycle for three and and a half hours because it kept calling for the pump to send it water which the holding tanks had none left to deliver, and then later dropped the BRAND NEW tool we bought to get the old name off the boat into the river before I'd finished the job, I have to console myself with the fact that at least we didn't sink our baby, so all in all, we're doing OK.

That, fortified by a good cigar and a few shots of JD (moms and dads, don't try this at home) helped me commit to put in another day's worth of effort and intent tomorrow.  Let's see how that goes...

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