Our next slip neighbors had a baby and a five year-old living aboard
, and to be quite frank, it ended their marriage.
Watching the poor couple struggle with managing a toddler and a five-year old around the docks made me really feel for them. The day we met them, the dad was carrying a bag and the toddler, who reached into his pocket and pulled out and dropped Mom's phone
, which immediately clattered off the slip finger and into the water. Gone. Diver found it but too late.
I've heard the frustrated father going a bit overboard
with the yelling when the five-year-old did something dangerous that a five-year-old shouldn't be expected to predict. The mother looked weary all the time.
I was always a bit nervous watching the five-year-old playing on the docks unsupervised as her mom was at work and her dad was doing maintenance
. I'd spend a lot of time chatting with her as we were neighbors and that's the nature of five-year-olds. She's talk about a lot of mundane things and then slip in the time her baby brother crawled off the dock
and how it was sure a good thing somebody was there to fish
About six months into living aboard
, there was a fight one night, and the Mom left with the two kids
. Dad still lives aboard, maintaining the boat and his outwardly cheerful attitude, but I haven't seen Mom or the kids since.
While I wouldn't presume to tell another person how or where to raise their kids, I do find marinas
to be an unnecessarily risky place for children, and that risk will place a subconscious burden on your marriage unless your spouse is 100% on board with the plan. It only takes a minute of inattention to lose a small child to the water.