Would You Take Your Child on a Dangerous Adventure?

A while back you may remember seeing Eric and Charlotte Kaufman in the news because they had to be rescued with their two young children by the coast guard on a family sailing trip across the Pacific. Their story made headlines across the country as everyone from the hosts of The View to the NY Times commented on their supposed poor parenting and ill fated adventure. The Kaufman's had not granted any interviews until their story ran a couple of weeks ago on This American Life. Ira Glass interviewed them about the details of their trip and what went wrong in a segment titled "Call for Help."

Being that I've attempted to sail a boat exactly two days in my life I was surprised by how riveted I was by the story, and even more, how much I felt like I related to the Kaufman's. As I read through their family blog I found myself asking, why am I so interested in this story? Why do I relate to this so much? And in the end, I think there are two reasons. One is that I like adventures and I wholeheartedly believe that children benefit from living a little bit outside of the box. It was a good reminder to me that bringing Myles on some adventures, whether that be travel, a concert, heading out on the water or into the mountains... or just staying up past his bedtime, is good for him and something that vibes with our family culture.

But upon reflection, I think the larger reason I was so drawn to the Kaufman's story is that on some level parenting itself is a "dangerous adventure." There is huge potential for failure, embarrassment, inconvenience, and loss, but also mystery, excitement, wonder and novelty. I don't think most people enjoy having to "call for help" but having a child makes it nearly impossible to avoid. I relate so much to Eric and Charolotte because even though I never plan to sail across the Pacific, I can taste what it would feel like to try something risky with your kids and to fail.

Being adventurous when you have children takes a lot of guts and since Mylo was born I have been mostly afraid to push the conventional rules of society and parenting. I find the Kaufman's story inspiring...here's to all the parent's out there on this "dangerous adventure."



  1. Wow, this was my favorite parenting post. I hadn't heard about this story but I love your thoughts on it!

  2. I too loved hearing their story. For me, I like being reminded that when you have kids you can still travel and do what you love, even though this journey didn't go as planned. Also, a GREAT reminder to be thankful that we live in a country where help will be sent when you call for it.