I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the thought of watching my kids jump off the side of boat into 60 feet of water along an underwater cliff that drops to nearly 7,000 feet is keeping me up tonight.
The boys have wanted to dive for years, ever since they experienced a few hours of snorkeling in Hawaii. That first experience was reinforced a couple of years later when they spent an hour in an introductory class for kids at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Since we live just over the hill in Carmel, we are at the aquarium every time a relative or friend comes to visit. During the class the boys put on dry suits and floated in an enclosed tide pool. I have video of Colin at eight years old desperately trying to kick to the bottom. He just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t let him go to the bottom as that was the whole point, right?
We spent today in the pool with GiGi, the boy’s instructor, an amazing young woman from Romania who has been teaching dive class for four years, both here in the Bahamas and in Thailand. It was a long but satisfying day. The boys spent the last few weeks taking an “e-learning” class from PADI so they would be ready to go straight to the pool. We, and more importantly GiGi, were impressed with the recall of what they had learned.
At dinner tonight we reviewed the fun of the day and talked about the excitement, and fear, associated with tomorrow’s first open water dive. As a father one spends a lot of time saying, “listen to me. Do as I say.” But, tonight, I made the point that tomorrow, if told to do one thing by me and something different by GiGi they were to do what GiGi says. Colin smiled and responded, “yeah dad, we know to do what the instructor says but it still makes me feel safer to know you will be there to make sure nothing bad happens.”
I guess that is one responsibility that you can’t put onto someone else.