Parents know best!

AS much as I hate to admit it, real life just gets in the way of riding the bike sometimes. This week I am training at the office closer to my house. Normally this is not a bad thing, as its only 5 miles from the house. This means I usually bike it round trip.

However, today, it wasn’t an option. The person I am teaching doesn’t start till 9, and I have to take the manchild home after work. Add to it the stack of stuff I had to haul for this class and it adds up to having to drive (at least today).

The one advantage, I listened to the radio this morning on the way. It allowed me to hear that the rescue of the family stuck on the sailboat off the coast of Mexico was a success. But then the news told me something that made me mad.

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman’s were on their boat the Rebel Heart were attempting to sail around the with their two daughters ages 3 and 1.. The baby had a high fever, scary bad rash, and they felt it was life threatening. This was combined with the boat literally being dead in the water. They got on the sat phone and called for help, and the navy came through.

So why was I mad? Well it stems from the kids, but NOT maybe what you think. The news reports, as well as a blogger I follow, have said these parents are getting chewed out something fierce for being terrible parents, selfish, putting their children in danger for no reason at all. They should be ashamed of themselves!!


I will be the first to admit that there is no way I’d do! Not because of the kids in danger, but because A) I don’t trust sailboats, and B) Being cooped up like that with the kids would drive me nuts! HOWEVER, where do people get off calling these people lousy parents?

I applaud them. The sailing around the world has to have been a dream. How many people out there have had a dream, anything from writing a book, painting, climbing a mountain, only to put it “on hold” for a while when the kids are born. More often than not, the dream is dead in the water once that happens.

These two not only wanted to do it, they wanted to share it with the kids. Think of the things the kids would’ve seen, both at sea and in port. We take kids to zoos and aquariums to see animals, these two would’ve seen them live. They would not be TV addicted brain-dead drones. They’d have fresh air, exercise and life changing experiences.

But, the nay sayers are spouting it’s too dangerous! Really? My kids were both speed skaters. We got them into it for health and exercise. BUT because of it, the oldest ended up with surgery for a broken nose and the youngest had a broken arm. Should I have kept them safe at home instead? Maybe wrapped in bubblewrap?

Oh wait, many parents have their kids at home, safe on the couch  No dangerous sports for them! How many are now out of shape, obese, diabetic, and getting worse. This is safer and a better plan than the sailboat? OK a compromise. Soccer? Hmm just read kids are getting brain injuries from heading the ball. We won’t even get into football.

Then there’s the parents who smoke around their kids, or leave them in cars to go to the casino, or let them ride in a car without car seats.

So what is my point? Folks, before embarking on a trip like this, these parents prepared as much as anyone could. Pure and simple, no matter how well you plan, shit happens. It could be driving to grandmas or sailing around the world, the “S H” factor can’t be 100% prevented. However, they had a plan and the means to call for help.

Of course this leads to the argument about the danger and cost of rescue (happens every year around here when climbers get in trouble). Suck it up people. The navy spends bucks in training. But no training exercise comes anywhere near the real thing. They were able to plan, execute and learn from this real life rescue. PLUS, I will bet at least one or two of the guys who parachuted in had kids as well. No way they would miss the chance to help.

All in all, being a parent is hard. Weighing risks vs. benefits. If I would take my 20 and 16-year-old sailing in Puget Sound today, THAT would be a mistake. I wouldn’t have the first clue. But I took them on the back of my bike, and tow behind trailers for years. ON the road, which people thought was stupid on my part.  I have also let them climb rocks, trees and other things kids are supposed to do!

Man child at Rainier
Man child at Rainier
Math Major at Bridal Veil falls
Math Major at Bridal Veil falls

This means we shouldn’t second guess these folks. Just be thankful and happy everyone is fine, and trust them to raise their own kids. Personally, I think they are doing a GREAT job and once the kidlet is better, they try again!

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