March 21, 2010

Her Village

When Maia met Matt they quickly found they had something in common: slackline. Maia loves anything circus and while she’s relatively content riding her unicycle around the marina or juggling for a small audience of friends, she misses the camaraderie of training and the challenge of learning new skills. When Matt offered to help her set up a slackline so they could practice together, she jumped at the chance.
 It takes a village--The phrase has popped into my mind a lot over the past year. First it came when we were getting ready to go; friends seemed to constantly picking up the slack with Maia--keeping her fed, amused and content when we were overwhelmed. On the way south we saw it in all the little kindnesses that came her way; friends and strangers taking a moment and offering Maia reasons to smile. These days it comes to mind when she runs off in the morning and I trust that someone on our dock knows where she is.
  Maia helps Mairen
As a cruising kid, Maia needs other boaters to be the special grown-ups in her life. She’s pretty fond of us, her parents, but we get boring. And we’re not always fun. But what I realized yesterday is that the grown-ups in our floating village also rely on the kids. The kids offer adults the excuse to play and laugh.
 Siobhan's turn
Lots of folks stopped by to give it a try 
When Maia met Matt, I thought he was just being nice to a little kid. But as he spent time helping her and the other kids set up the slack rope and learn to balance on the thin webbing, I was reminded of one of the first set of friends that we made while cruising on our last boat. It was a couple called Wayne and Leslie who are my parents’ age. I’d never had grown-up friends before and sort of thought they were humouring us. But as that friendship grew and other, even more unlikely, friendships enriched our lives, I realized friendship didn’t need to be based on age. Other factors are way more important: Like slacklining.
 Maia floated with happiness through the evening after her afternoon of hanging out with Matt. When our old friends from Mexico came for dinner she explained the day, “My friend Matt helped us set up the line. And pretty soon he and I are going to practice poi together too.”


Seven C's said...

Too cool! That is fantastic that Lats and Ats is going to publish your story! We will be watching for that one! What an accomplishment!

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

Maia and the little Totems are thrilled they are going to be published authors. They did such a great job together.

kareen said...

I think slacklinning is such a versatile sport! Its great for people of all ages and it can be done in a social environment or on your own.