Monday, July 16, 2012

Sailing with Grandkids - The Hook

I don't know if last Saturday deserves the title of "Best Day of My Life So Far" but it comes pretty damn close.

Regular readers of this blog will know that the two passions of my life are my sailing and my grandchildren. You have followed the ups and downs of my spectacularly incompetent Laser racing life; and you have read all the stories about (and looked at all the pictures of) my four grandchildren, Emily, Aidan, Owen and Isabel.

Oh yes. Sailing and grandchildren.

It's no secret that I've been looking forward to the day when I could go sailing with my grandkids. But I haven't pushed it. There's no way that I wanted to be pressuring the kids to do anything they didn't really want to do, and in any case whether or not the kids should participate in any activity is really up to the parents, not the grandparents.

So I have waited patiently and watched as the two older kids especially have had fun in the water, and learned to swim. I've always felt that before kids go sailing in small boats they should have learned that playing in the water is all about having fun; and that they should be totally confident in, on, around, and even under the water.

OK. Maybe I didn't just wait patiently. Maybe I did nudge things along a little bit. Like when I used to whisper subliminal messages to my grandkids when they were babies about how much they would enjoy sailing with Granddad one day when they were older. Or when I used to play with Emily (now six) when she was two years old in the backyard pool at the house she used to live in. Or when I bought Aidan (who turned four last week) presents such as model boats to build and a water slide for the back lawn.

Aidan splashing into the pool at the end of his new water slide

Late last week I still had no idea how this weekend was going to turn out, or even where I was going to go sailing. I was planning to sail the Newport Regatta at one point, but other family plans meant that we ended up staying over at my son's house in Massachusetts on Friday night. So I took my Laser with me intending to meet up on Saturday with some friends for some casual racing at Lake Massapoag instead.

I thought I was going to be doing that on my own. The rest of the family including the kids had other plans. But those plans fell through.

So, after lunch on Saturday I played a board game with Emily, and then she said she wanted me to make a collage with her. (She's very much into arts and crafts. She gets that from Tillerwoman.)

I said I was sorry but that I was going sailing and needed to start getting ready to go.

"Can I come with you?" she asked.

Wow. That was a shocker. She had never been to this sailing club before. Never expressed directly any interest in sailing with me before. But my years of dropping bait had finally worked. She wanted to go sailing. It was her idea.

"Sure you can, if your Dad says it's OK," I replied.

To cut a long story short, it was quickly decided that my son would bring his Laser to the lake too, and that both Emily and Aidan would come sailing with us.

Wow. The day I had been waiting for had arrived!

So off we all went to the lake....

(To be continued.)


JP said...


-kristjan said...

"whether or not the kids should participate in any activity is really up to the parents, not the grandparents"

We debate this often :-).

A tip, I have found that sailing and other activities with grandfather require positive post-activity reinforcement, for example:

-ice cream
-hot dogs (Icelandic hot dogs are world famous)
-hot chocolate
-sailing books and video

Parents are not required in all cases to be aware of above.

You are a lucky man, enjoy!

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

@Tillerman: Way to strike when the iron is hot, as they say!

Anonymous said...

You have just LIVED my DREAM!!
S/V Selah

meech said...

You forgot a link to "The hook"...

Tillerman said...

Was thinking more of...

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