I’m not sure who I was more worried about, me, or the ridiculously excited fourteen year old. When I was younger my parents had paid for me to certify with them ( I was 12) and I had failed miserably. Now, I had to figure out how to not only make it through the class, but to pass to be able to be my sons dive buddy. My son told me he knew he could do it, and I believed him. But with his medical condition there was always the worry that something could cause his body to have an adrenal crisis and while I had gone over it in my head a hundred times how I would handle it, I was still nervous. The doctor had agreed to sign off on the class so long as I stayed right by his side the entire time. This was his birthday present and something he had begged me for since he was a toddler and figured out people could breathe under water. (thanks to my parents)
He had always been a water baby, playing in any form of water you would let him since birth. Now he would have the ability to breathe under water as well. Honestly, I had decided at least this present was something that he would get something out of for the rest of his life and thus way more worth it than any video game. Bonus: I would always have a dive buddy and this would be a great mother/son experience.
So there I was standing in a pool with full dive gear on at the Discover Scuba class put on by our local dive shop. Funny enough, the same place my parents certified twenty years before. We went over the basics, how to breathe through and clear your regulator and how to inflate and deflate your buoyancy control device. Then they release us to go under the water. I deflate my BCD and take a deep breath and close my eyes as I sink underneath the surface. I take my first breath under water as I listen to the silence. When I open my eyes my son is giving me the O.K? sign. I signal back and we start to swim forward.
He’s a natural. It looked like he had been breathing under water his entire life. I watched him swim happily all around me twirling around upside down and then straight down the slope to the deeper end. I started down the slope behind him and could feel my ears already starting to hurt. ( The same problem I had when I was younger) and I stop right where I am. He realizes it and comes back up to me, making the motions of the different ways to clear my ears. Carefully I keep going down the slope, stopping every foot to regulate my ears. Before I know it I’m down to the bottom of the fourteen foot pool and my son is giving me high fives and clapping. So naturally, we do the happy dance under water! I seem to be adjusting to it. I think. My son continues to swim all around the bottom with the rest of the class. He’s upside down and backwards and all over the place. I’m just excited I got down to the bottom and am not hurting or panicking.
In total we spent around thirty minutes under water playing before resurfacing. Just enough time to decide whether you will have issues or not and get you hooked. Looks like this is the beginning of our next adventure!
Have you gotten scuba certified or tried a discover scuba class with your child? We would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for our next adventure when I try to drown 25 feet underwater!