There are lots of ups and downs in raising a child, but there are some moments, for whatever reason, that stick in your mind. Nothing sappy like her first step or first words, those things seem to morph over time, but little snippets where her personality starts to show.
After what feels like forever of sanding and fiberglass work and more sanding and more fiberglass work, Geoff declared the holes patched, the filler flat, and it to be time to start with gel coat. Gel coat is basically a sunscreen that goes over and protects the fiberglass from the sun.
It was a beautiful afternoon to gel coat (my job). Geoff was watching Skye as she ran around, up and down the stairs, and out and about. We’d given her a clean painters rag to play with that she was carrying with her everywhere. She loves to carry blankets and a painters rag seemed appropriate in the situation.
First, I have to wash the places we’re painting with gel coat down with Acetone. Each spot gets rubbed down pretty thoroughly with a rag I’ve soaked in Acetone. Skye is running around the boat while I’m doing this, getting underfoot, so I suggest Geoff take her elsewhere while I do the actual painting.
Geoff took her on a walk while I mixed the gel coat. It’s a two-part epoxy paint that I mix into a cup, just as much as I can paint on in ten minutes. Mix, then start at the bow. I slowly work my way from bow to keel on the first side then start again on the second. I’d just finished a huge section on the port keel and was working on the port side when I hear the patter of Skye’s sandals as she runs up.
She’s holding her painter’s rag out in two hands and runs right to the fresh paint on the keel, holding her rag against the keel as though she’s washing that spot down just as I was doing earlier. She turns back and looks at me for approval. My heart melts and I smile at my little girl who wants nothing more than to be helpful and do her part. She smiles back at me and turns around, leaning her back against the edge of the keel and getting still-wet paint all down the back of her shirt and all in the golden curls of her hair.
Geoff walks up and just starts laughing, seeing what’s going on and I’m glad he has a good sense of humor about the situation. She has the toddler’s desire to be just like us, to do whatever it is we’re doing, to help and participate. I have to acknowledge that she’s a growing little girl and in the future, I’m going to have to find ways for her to help.