There are three things I said I would never do: have kids, teach school, and go on a cruise. Since I homeschooled my three children for 21 years, I obviously and thankfully capitulated on the first two items long ago. But until 2020, I had clung to my resolve to avoid stepping foot on a cruise ship.

In February, a longtime pal invited 25 friends to go on a cruise to celebrate her retirement after 30 years of homeschooling. Only the promise of fellowship and fun could overcome my stringent objections of claustrophobia, seasickness, and food allergies. (If your food choices are severely limited, why go on a cruise?)

One night on the ship, we happened to eat dinner beside a group of 20 younger women who, we happily discovered, were homeschooling moms too! In the midst of our conversations with them, several of the younger women began to cry. When I asked if I had said something offensive, one explained that they were tears of gratitude and relief.