At the end of February, we looked at each other and started talking.
“What if we don’t sell the house this year? What does that do for our timing, our budget? Most critically, what does that do for our child and their ability to focus on choosing the right college for the right reasons for them?”
Timing. The spring market, which is when we’d planned on selling, is heating up already. Two houses in our neighborhood went on the market the last week in February. We’re not quite there in terms of project completion and lining up our marketing plan. Putting the sale off for a year gives us time to methodically clean, sort, plan, and get the word out.
Budget. What this does to the budget is largely unknown (not a hard conclusion to draw, since we really don’t have the budget set in stone). We don’t know how time will affect the price of the house. We can take a reasonable guess at what it will cost us to keep the house (taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance) but we were likely to rent a place closer to the boat anyway, so that cost could be considered a wash. Not selling in 2019 is a good thing for college financial aid.
Parenting. Our first born is a freshman in college, organizing life around classes, internships, friends, and moving forward. He’s had the benefit of not only a gap year but also a launch pad of familiarity from which to shove off. Our second child, a senior in high school this year, is experiencing a more classic teenage push-me-pull-you relationship with us, with Charlottesville, and college. No desire for a gap year. They applied to schools as close by as Richmond and as far away as Portland, Oregon.
Neither Jeremy nor I lived in one place for high school (we each went to a boarding school in different parts of the world), and given the endless stream of comments like “I can’t wait to leave Charlottesville” and “I am so done with this place” it never occurred to us that there would be a desire to come “home” once high school was finished.
We were wrong. Bee has a strong wish for a launch pad, a home base to return to and leave from.
Just because we didn't personally experience this doesn’t mean it’s not real.
And just because we’re ready to move away from Charlottesville doesn’t mean we can’t allow space for this leaving to happen more gently.
As parents, we want the best for our children. We hold their hands, wipe their tears, teach them how to navigate the world, and cherish their dreams. If we’re really lucky, they tell us their wishes and their feelings, even after they are teenagers. If we can listen, and act in support? Why not?
What does this mean for our cruising timeline? Actually, not a whole lot. The boat still needs a ton of work.
We’ll spend the summer in Vermont, then settle both kids into college in the fall. We’ll return to Virginia to launch into boat work (around regular work). The hope had been to be able to move aboard by February of 2020 in any case, and we still think that’s possible. Maybe now we’ll tick a few more projects off the list (or more likely add projects, hah) before we leave the dock.
Cruising is about flexibility. We’re getting a lot of that practice in as we get ready to go.
See you out there - eventually!