About 3 months passed before I brought it up. I sat them all down one day and said, “So, have you guys thought about what we have talked about? Selling the house and taking off in a boat to go see the world”, I said, with the utmost enthusiasm. I explained that it would mean not going to high school where we live, but rather participating in an online high school curriculum. I also told them that they wouldn’t be in school for 6 hours a day as they are now. They could customize their own schedule, doing a few hours every morning, to allow for more free time throughout the day. I explained that they will still have friends, other kids that are living the same lifestyle, and their buddies from home could visit the boat. I passionately listed all the wonderful aspects of cruising: We can go where ever we want. Stay as long or short as we choose. Explore new places! Meet new friends! Try new foods! Experience different cultures!
They were excited. They began asking questions, again, but this time it was much more organized. Everyone was listening attentively to each other talk, allowing me to finish my sentences, and interested in the responses. It went VERY well. They were all on board, and, looking forward to the great adventure.
Accept… of course… for the one kid, there’s ALWAYS, that, one kid. This time, it’s my oldest son, he still wants nothing to do with it. I can’t say I blame him, after all, he’s 13. He has just gotten a taste of freedom. And… he’s an “Extreme-Social Butterfly.” Has been since kindergarten. This kid would get so many “play-date” requests, I joked that he needed his own secretary to schedule, and chauffeur to take him. He was invited to play with kids he barely knew and got an invite to every party. Nothing has changed now that he is older. He is still in high demand. His social calendar is on overload and sometimes I have to tell him, “No”, that he can’t go 3 places in one day, because he will run himself ragged, and has at times. He is proud that he has so many ‘friends’, and enjoys them all. His whole world right now revolves around his social interactions. Luckily, he is a great judge of character for his age and he chooses to be ‘friends’ with nice kids. He has no tolerance for mean, and avoids kids that don’t behave appropriately. Hopefully, his good judgement won’t be influenced negatively when he gets to High School. I say, “when” he goes, rather than “if” he goes, because I know that there is nothing short of a miracle, that is going to convince this kid to come with us cruising. Unfortunate, but true, because I would never force him. Which brings me back to Plan A or Plan B.
I have to make a choice. Go without him, in which case I would have to leave him with my brother to finish high school, or stay here until he finishes high school, then take off. Unless…I can figure out a way to show him that he will love cruising, then hope he does. This would definitely need to entail frequent contact with other liveaboard kids his age. Not sure if it’s even possible. I’ll have to research this further, but I know that we will go out our way, and plan our travel routes around the location of other teens and kids.
At this point, I have 4 out of 5 kids ready, and excited to go. Not bad. I just have to figure out what to do about that one kid…