While Matt and I work to keep the boat work and family life moving, the boys need to be occupied. Our clothes are a bit of a wreck. The industrial washers and dryers are tough on them as is this more physical life. When Malachi ripped his pants, I got out a needle and thread and sewed up the hole. The boys were absolutely enthralled and insisted I show them how to do it (I am no Martha Stuart – very basic skills of sewing up a hole or replacing a lost button but that’s about it). I give them each a needle and some thread and let them work on something. They decide they want to make a jacket for their stuffed animals (I suggest they start with a cape or vest). The next time we do errands we stop at a craft store and I let them pick out thread and some material. I try not to laugh as they tell each other there is no way they are getting anything pink because that is too girly. Later, as I grill dinner outside, they are working nearby on their chosen vestment. A crusty old sailor passes by and asks the boys what they are doing. When they hold up their projects and proudly declare they are sewing, his eyebrows raise sky-high in alarm. I silently hope he doesn’t say anything to ruin it for them. When he glances at me questioningly, I look at him sternly and say we are raising androgynous children. I count on the fact that he won’t know what the term means (having both feminine and masculine characteristics) and will not ask. He nods uncertainly and keeps walking. The boys continue with their sewing projects – their worldview intact.