Last week my Facebook feed was bombarded with pictures of all your beautiful little ones returning to school. It seems like such an achievement, an important step in life, a milestone. But because of our lifestyle it is a milestone that our girls have not yet completed, being sent off on their own to interact with their peers and be taught by someone else (minus the 6 months we enrolled them in school in the DR; and yes, both our girls have attachment issues! urgh).
   Our milestones on the boat look quite different, but the smile they bring to a proud parent’s face is just the same. So when a kid is boat-schooled what might those accomplishments look like? Sometimes they are just little, so small that you don’t even pull the camera out for them, but make us proud none the less.
  – Like the first time Arias used the VHF properly. Yes yes, kids shouldn’t be playing on the VHF, but that’s exactly it, she wasn’t playing and she got all the lingo right. From hailing the other boat, to switching to a proper channel, having the conversation, and finishing off with “Necesse back to 68”. That was an incredibly cute and proud moment.
   – Or when both our daughter’s finished their homeschooling curriculum a year ahead of their age groups. It’s amazing how just how much a kid can absorb when you have one hour a day one-on-one with them. 
   – Seeing Ellia start snorkelling on her third year of life, before she could swim fully. But put a snorkel in that kid’s mouth and she will be off exploring for the next half hour. Amazing!
   – Watching Arias use a hookah and dive 10 feet underwater like its no big deal. That little mermaid had me proudly snapping pictures of her left and right. And she went on to impress me even more the next day when she swam around with a wild dolphin, like its a normal thing.

   – And I think one of the cutest things, and also a milestone, is when the girls use boat lingo. It’s a foreign language that only boaters use, but to hear a three year old talk about epoxy and fibreglass, or boating etiquette is quite phenomenal in my mind.
   – Also seeing the smile on Arias’ face after the first time we finally let her go kiteboarding with Eben. And hearing Ellia plan for the day when she feels she will be big enough to do the same (when she’s 4 apparently).

   Although I do yearn for the day when I will be able to take official “First Day of School” pictures, I know these memories of boating (sea life) accomplishments will have me beaming as a proud boat mama for the rest of my life.