Abby Sunderland Lost at Sea

by mike on June 10, 2010

in Kids,Travel

Abby Sunderland is a 16 year old teenager with a dream to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe.

In breaking news today, it was announced that two of the three EPIRB distress beacons on her boat (one of those activated on her life vest) were manually activated.  Her blog notes that her parents lost contact with her during rough seas.  Nearest ships are two days away from rescuing her.

I’ve noticed on the news articles on the internet that about half the comments posted on these stories are from people that say maybe once sentence about “hoping they find her” and the rest of the message is a tirade against the parents.  This begs the question — at what point should a parent reign in their child’s dreams?

On her blog, she claims that since the age of 13 she’s wanted to be the youngest solo circumnavigator ever.  That is a huge, lofty goal which I’m sure any sane parent would have counseled against due to the danger.  But if the child persists, does the research and training… what sane parent could resist?

I quote from her blog:

“I had begun to think that dreams are meant to be no more than dreams and that in reality dreams don’t come true.”

My children are quite young, but I wonder — isn’t it our job as parents to uplift and support children in pursuit of their dreams and goals?  Wouldn’t it be heartbreaking to live with the knowledge that you had repressed one?

I bear no ill will towards her parents for supporting her in this goal, and I hope that she is rescued in short time and can console herself with the reality that even setting out on such a mission is more than most people will ever accomplish in their entire lifetimes.

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