I’ve had a dream my whole life. Okay, I’ve had many, but in particular I’ve always wanted to scuba dive. I’ve had different opportunities throughout my life to do it, but something aways interfered. Little things like stupid cancer. But now that we’re planning this huge trip, Tigger announced he wanted to do scuba. I remembered the first time I snorkeled and how challenging it was to breathe with my face under water. This is my kiddo who has anxiety issues, so I was kind of nervous about this idea. I did some research anyway and discovered you have to be 10 to do junior open water certification. I didn’t want to be in Greece or Turkey for his 10th birthday paying $400+ for his certification just to have him not be able to certify. But I also know when we trust our kids and give them a shot, they often surprise us.
So I did some further research and discovered he could do a discovery dive. This is where you get a few minutes of very basic instruction and then you get to experience what scuba is like while in an indoor, heated swimming pool. Something that is important since right now it is -3C. I figured this would be a perfect opportunity. I could pay $25 and see how he handles it all and just what I might be in for. Did I mention how kids can surprise us?
We got in the pool, and I stood there with my gear on nervously watching as they put his vest (BCD) and tank on. While the instructor turned to fix another person’s regulator, I watched astonished as Tigger pulled down his mask, stuck his regulator in his mouth, and then went beneath the surface. The instructor pulled him out of the water and asked him to pay attention. She turned around, and he submerged again. I couldn’t believe it! Not that my child was ignoring the instructor when there was a whole pool there for his enjoyment, but that he acted like this was nothing. The fact that we were breathing while under water simply didn’t seem to register that this should be a problem.
Finally we were given the clear, and we released the air from our BCDs and promptly sank to the bottom of the pool. My son who had never dove, never breathed under water, never used a BCD to adjust his buoyancy, and never had to monitor his oxygen level was swimming around like he did this every day. I watched him in astonishment as he rose and sank, sat calmly on the bottom, occasionally checked his oxygen level and then went up for a refill when it was time as if this was just another normal day diving with buddies. No anxiety whatsoever. When we all surfaced to turn in our gear, a friend turned to me and said “Well, obviously this won’t be a problem.” No indeed. This kind of surprise I’ll take any day!
I’m still glad we did this trial. Not only do I have more confidence for when he takes his course, but I also confirmed how much I would love scuba. We’re both addicted. He’s horribly jealous I’ll be taking my class next weekend. I’ll try not to gloat too much, though.