Breathing Space

You know your husband hasn’t helped you with school enough when he says, ‘I’m sorry it’s so difficult for you.’

Wasn’t sure whether to start crying or smack him square on the forehead.

Hold on. I’m not that demanding.. am I? Ha! But working with Delph is sometimes an exquisite pain. I hope that doesn’t sound awful.

I do love working with her – and I chose to do it. I’m also a member of a parents of dyslexic kids’ group. These are my people. Many parents are in daily tears right now during lockdown. Why? Close-up, you watch your child work twice as hard as another child for half the reward. Reward being their understanding and confidence.

For me, I’ve spent years learning to help Delph manage her style and pace of learning. There are still moments though when the shear frustration and unfairness of her struggles with academia becomes overwhelming. Hence the side-eye at my husband.

But he has pain too, pain I don’t have a full share in. His pain is with Lulu. There is a dynamic of blame – blame directed at him for being here. After all, he’s our cap. I call Lulu our teenage bear. Jack however, turns over her frustration of being ‘stuck’ on Quest like it’s his own. It’s making the decision to risk coming home now in uncertain circumstances even more so. Jack says he cant stand her being unhappy though. He says it sits on his heart.

What to do? Breathe. And dive on a Sunday afternoon together – without the kids. Hehe.

The first thing we did was take a good look at the reef – just under the boat. This was mostly because our boat neighbour had misplaced his waterproof camera. It’s amazing how a camera can get lost among the coral.

I realised too I don’t look closely enough at the reef. We usually do the equivalent of the underwater march – straight past it. When you stop to really look, there are so many different types of coral. I wonder if it’s the equivalent of splatter painting. One blue flower coral here, mustard green cactus coral there.

Haven’t been down either since Jack’s befriended the morays with his fish head gifts. They really do like him! Two came straight out of their hiding places and we were guided around their stretch of reef.

As if the eels were saying, ‘Have you seen this bit guys? This coral is really cool.’ We stayed for ages following them like polite guests. Then, before our air ran out, we went to the slightly deeper section behind us.

The turtles tend to be here. No turtles today. But we did have a visit from the huge stingray. The 8-person table-sized; ‘why are you comparing me to a table’ ray. Sorry: bad habit. You look like a table.

On one pass, the ray came so close to Jack that Jack reached out and touched its wing. Ever so gently. They both flinched as though they’d been shocked.