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Raising My Grandchild While Living On A Sailboat

By:  Nita Knighton

Thirty eight years ago my husband and I had a dream to live on a sailboat when our children were grown and on there own.  Three children later, marital problems and “life” itself tried to dull the sparkle of this dream.  I am happy to report we fulfilled our dream of not only owning but moving on to our 40ft. sailboat named Adventuress. There is more to our story than just normal life happenings that met us along the way.

Our three children, two boys and a girl, had no more interest in a boat than a chicken would. We then knew we were going to have to wait until their college years were over before we could pursue this dream that had held us together  along with genuine love and stubbornness. Our next surprise was grandchildren.  I am safe in saying, neither my husband nor myself could have imagined the grip our hearts would have on these beautiful additions to our family. With the arrival of our first grand daughter we had to rethink this dream and put it on hold. Two and a half years later, two more grandchildren arrived; a boy and a girl. It was shortly after our newest granddaughter’s birth that we knew she would be sharing  our dream on a daily basis. The custody battle began six months later between us and the birth mother. After three years and three court dates per month later,  we gained custody of our precious grand daughter, Pippi Longstocking (as she refers to herself). It was then that we started the process of buying a sailboat.

By just being grandparents, there was more to the custody battle than I ever imagined. The heartbreak and sadness  that met us at every turn during this process was not something I had planned on.  My husband,  whom the six grandchildren lovingly refer to as Papa, had different sayings for each court visit. The one that stands out in my mind the most  was, ” We are going to lose little battles along the way, but it’s the war we want to win.”  We never lost site of our dream and the life we could give this child.  Seven years later I am happy to report Pippi is a happy child with both parents involved in her adventures.

In my blogs I will share how we did our best to keep Pippi secure while we were selling practically everything we owned to move on the sailboat.  Stay tuned…


If  you’d like to share your story of raising a grandchild, please drop a note to editor@grandmagazine.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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