The Zoey Blog: Zoey Likes Zac...or at least the idea of Zac...us too FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zoey Likes Zac...or at least the idea of Zac...us too

If you're not a regular visitor over at ESPN.com, or if you don't happen to subscribe to that same unabashed sport media monopoly's print magazine then you may not have seen or heard about Zac Sunderland yet. You're missing out.

Zac is a sixteen year old home-schooled California kid who is sailing around the world solo...that's right, solo. Oh yeah, and in his own boat...the boat that he just so happened to buy with his own money...the money that he quite simply earned all by himself. Zac's an impressive young man.

This week's ESPN, The Magazine has Zac on the cover, that's how we stumbled into the impressive but oh so humble phenom. It was a quick scoot over to Zac's blog for some more reading (his Mom updates the blog with regular, or semi-regular at worst, communication with Zac) and some even more jaw gaping awe. This kid is probably not going to go to college like everyone else or ever...EVER work in a cubicle. If you get the chance, sneak over to your computer desk and get knee deep in Zac. You won't regret it.

What's most important about all of this is that a sixteen year old kid can inspire you...not a kid with a terrible disease or disability, not a kid who's overcome horrific abuse or trauma, but a regular sixteen year old kid (that's debatable I suppose) who's chosen to take his own path and do his own thing, a rather enormous thing. It inspired us to make some plans for the future, or re-visit plans, I should say.

At one point we talked about living the kind of life that made us shake our heads, that made others smile and shake theirs, and that we could never retreat from with any kind of feeling of regret. We talked about working abroad, or traveling around the world...of helping out in someplace that was desperate for the helping, or of just up and moving somewhere for a full year or so to absorb things, change and grow. We talked about doing these things, wisely, before Zoey is ready for school, and before baby #2 is embraced. We talked about a lot of things but Zac reminded us to keep talking and do our best to not just kiss one another goodnight and fall asleep without challenging our imaginations (someone told us that's how baby #2 comes which made us giggle) and capacity for wonder. Zac put those ideas back in the forefront of our minds and not on some back burner.

I once met a couple and their infant son who taught sea kayaking in Alaska all summer and Baja Mexico all winter.

I knew a family who's children had ridden on the backs of elephants in Thailand before they had sat on their own bikes.

One of the smartest kids I have ever met was in a port in the Bahamas, being home schooled on his boat and making friends around the world.

The smartest kid I ever knew had a Mom who studied elephants in Botswana and she spoke three languages before most kids have a grasp on one.

All we want is a small piece of that, not the whole freak show. I'm not even sure if we believe in the extremes of the freak show, in fact, I'm quite sure we don't. We have a healthy disdain for the "norm" and a substantial respect for it in the very same breath. As Mark Twain said, we just wanted to "live an extraordinary life, to believe that something larger is waiting," if we just step out our back door and get busy looking.

Anyway...Zoey's on board with the idea, or so she squealed, and we've got until September 2013 when Zo starts Jr. Kindergarten to manage something. That gives us almost four years to come up with a plan. Brian won't likely be sleeping now until 2013.

Damn you Zac...you're awesome.

2 Comments:

Blogger John Teeter said...

You know the funny thing is, Bri, I kind of already view you as doing this for La Zo.

I mean look at what you're doing this summer with your daughter, and then think of all the places she's been. Kind of makes me feel plain with what we've done with Emelia so far… Then I remember the remarks friends make when they learn that Emelia has sunk toes in both the Pacific, and the Atlantic Ocean… that's between twice on a plane, before the age of 2… something that took Danielle and I, 35 years to do.

But, I know what you mean. I still catch myself constantly daydreaming of more. What more can we do, to inspire her to be the kind of citizen of the whole world like I want to be myself? So, I think you're right, to be on that mindset. Keep planning, keep thinking it needs to be done.

June 11, 2009 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger John Teeter said...

http://www.teeterpod3.com/our_story/le_blog/Entries/2009/6/14_Decisions….html

June 14, 2009 at 9:10 PM  

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