As we boarded our cruise ship early last week; going through security, hauling bags, getting room keys and finding an empty elevator along with the other 2000 people doing the same juggling act, our two children and their spouses were talking about their shore excursion plans. Michael and Samuel were discussing scuba diving, which both of them had done previously and enjoyed. The two girls were hesitant. I thought Dennis and I were excluded, that it was just for the ‘kids’. I purposely stayed safely out of the conversation.
A last minute room change meant we had to return to the main deck and stop at the front desk for new keys, which just happened to be right next to the excursion kiosk. By then the girls had reluctantly agreed for the love of their husbands to risk the scuba adventure. As Stephanie was swiping her room key she asked me if we’d go too. I hesitated, said I didn’t bring a swimsuit (I hate the exposure), Ashley quickly added, “I brought two,” and before I could object further my room key was taken from my hand, swiped in the kiosk, and the deed was done.
Dennis, knowing how much I dislike cold salt water, said he couldn’t believe I agreed so willingly. I replied, “for the love of my kids I’ll do almost anything.” Like the time I carried my ten year old son after he had a bad injury on a bike. He weighed almost as much as I did at the time. Or the time I did endless research for our other son’s undiagnosed medical condition. Or the time I faced a panel of therapists when our daughter went through rehab. Scuba diving felt a little like that.
The beautiful turquoise waters were cold, I was wearing my daughter’s suit, the salt water was as distasteful as always and I failed our instructor’s training on re-inserting the air regulator under water. But down I went anyway, for the love of my children.
Though we all looked ridiculous with our faces contorted by the masks and air hoses, I was part of a victory conversation the six of us enjoyed as we ate fresh guacamole and chips in Cozumel before reboarding the ship.
Will I scuba dive again next year? Doubtful, but for the love of my kids I’ll do almost anything.