Delphine turned out to be a naturally relaxed and confident scuba diver. Should I be surprised? I was a little, to be honest. Not about her ability or her traits, but just watching her doing something so grown-up. I see her so much and so often, it suddenly seemed I don’t see her at all. She is growing up. That bit strikes like a sweet cobra.
There is still the training to do of course. And for Delphine, some of it has to be specialised for her. The regulator recovery for example, was the first challenge. Her regulator is on her right side… and unfortunately her right arm is her weaker arm. To ask her to drop the breathing regulator out of her mouth, sweep her right arm back, find it and grasp it with her right hand back into her mouth on one breath – that is hard.
But here we are. Delphine is our catalyst. Without her, we probably wouldn’t be on Quest in the first place. She both motivated us to step out of our normal lives and propelled us out. The experience of joining the least popular club in the world: Parents of a Disabled Kid Club (yay, welcome!) does have its unexpected advantages. We discovered it’s so uniquely painful wondering if your child is going to live independently or not, that the little things stop being such a worry. For us, the little things were the nice house and such trappings. I can’t even say we were thinking about it that consciously at the time. Actually, I’m almost sure I was in full-scale run-away mode.
But still, here we are. As they dived, Jack and Delphine worked together to devise a way she could retrieve her regulator if it did fall out of her mouth. This included leaning forwards so her regulator hose becomes easier to locate. Then, they figured it she could pass it to her left hand so she could place it in her mouth. Ok. Progress.
Watching them work together, I pinched myself. I had to. After all, it doesn’t matter how long it takes her to train. We can keep it safe and slow and as comfortable as she needs it, in order to feel confident. The experience of us diving – all together – was the thing she’d been hoping for. And because she’d been hoping for us to dive together for so long – we did. The next day we dived all together.
Was it everything we’d dreamed of? Well, if having an underwater family argument about taking a selfie is anything to go by, then yes, it was just perfect. It really was. Watch out fishies. The Ormerods can now bicker in any Earth-based environment.