We live in a 9-to-5 world, our calendars, computers and appointment books jammed with scribbled must-dos and don’t-forgets, and we have very little time that isn’t scheduled. The very concept of “spare time” has disappeared from our vocabularies. Kids scurry from soccer practice to dance lessons without pause for either kid or parent.
OK, I admit it. I’ve been a harsh critic of helicopter parents for a long time. You know, the parents that hover around their children, never giving them a chance to think or do on their own. They rig their boats, follow them on the racecourse aboard mommy boats, hire coaches to video and critique them.
It seems a contradictory statement to make in a magazine issue dedicated to safety, but the fact is this: None of us are getting out of here alive. We all have a “sell-by” date, time and place unknown. It’s up to each of us to make it to that point where, in a grocery store, milk would be taken off the shelf, and perhaps a little longer if we’re careful. But it’s going to depend entirely on your own personal responsibility.
It was no dark and stormy night, but the middle of a bright Florida afternoon when I spotted the mystery buoy. It was near our course and I had no idea what it marked, so I brought the engines back to neutral and we drifted while I issued orders.