Let Her Do Her Own Thing

Jack and Patrice recently found an unofficial dive site on our side of Klein Bonaire. It’s only just across the channel – and we committed ourselves to dive it early today. We heard the morning light there is the best.

It helps the weather has been calm the last few days. Full moon last night and the sea sparkling underneath us. Like late summer in the Med. Meryl Streep singing somewhere. Hopefully not. But that sort of thing.

We haven’t dived this early for a while. Lu was up anyhow – she was going to the gym with Patrice. They’ve been going all Christmas holidays. It’s been Patrice’s Christmas present to her.

Patrice goes in the mornings to the nearby, air-conditioned, they-play-great-music gym. Gyms are still open in Bonaire. Lu has been watching him go there with green-eyes. She does have green eyes, but they got greener.

That’s because Lu has this thing about the gym. As if the gym is where happiness is to be found. Happiness fitness. According to Lu, it isn’t found while swimming, diving or just moving around generally. It is specifically found in the gym. Why, I ask her?

‘Ahh,’ she says with great knowledge, ‘because they have cold water. Music. That machine where it’s like you’re climbing.’

So Patrice has been kind enough to invite Lu as his guest – and Lu has been living her gym dream over Christmas. Water, music and cross-trainer.

We dropped her off just after 8am. That wasn’t too bad. The main challenge was getting Delph up. Though she wasn’t too bad this morning. We’ve started to take away Delph’s iPad at around 11pm. It’s been 3am, we’ve woken up and guess what? Delph’s still reading. 3am. Would never have got her up this morning if we hadn’t taken the iPad away. It’s not a job for the faint-hearted either.

It was worth it though. A different kind of dive for us. A mid-water swim – and the drop-off appeared like a movie transition. We went into a deep soft coral garden. There was mature and complicated topography.

It’s funny. Some kids are all about the fish life. The coral structures. The tiny critters. Even the by-now, take-it-for-granted Christmas tree worms. I realised today that Delph swims along, not really noticing. Anything.

My first instinct is to pull her on it. To point. To show her ‘stuff’. She just hasn’t noticed it yet, I think to myself. Then someone somewhere mentally slapped me. If she wants to dive this way, leave her alone. Let her dive the way she wants.

So I did. I stuck my face in all the critters – and Delph hovered nearby, kicking her fins and staring into the distance.

When we came back across the channel, we stopped at Wannadive’s pier, and Jack took our tanks to be filled. Delph and I were chit-chatting when it occurred to me.

‘Were you making up stories when we were diving today, Delph?’

She swung her head at me. ‘How did you know?’

I smiled.

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