What Is Normal?

Even a mosquito can tell Delphine is disabled. That’s a low blow.

She says, ‘Dad, I’ve been bitten.’

Lights on. Inspection. All four pelty-red bites are on Delph’s right side. It’s the side she doesn’t properly feel. Or the side which she feels differently, but not enough to tell when a mosquito is biting her. She is usually bitten on this side of her body.

I get up from my sofa recline and give her an anti-histamine. Four bites is enough to suffer. Delph takes it without concern – or much attention. She’s busy watching something on her iPad in the front cabin, next to her dad – who’s also watching something on his iPad. It’s the Quest evening routine.

Where’s the fourth one? Oh yeah. The big sister, 15 years old and going on 22, or 5 years, depending on the situation at the moment – is on her phone. She’s been as twitchy as a damselfish the last couple of days. The signs have become obvious. She’s talking to a boy.

Hence my sofa recline. This way, I can keep a half-eye on her in her cabin, just past the galley. This is our 60 square metre home. Bigger than a lot of other sailing boats. We sold our 350 square metre house for this precious space. In other words, I am slightly snooping. Sorry not sorry.

‘I’m just going to talk to So-and-So,’ she tells me quickly before closing her cabin door.

I nod back, immediately putting on my ‘be cool’ face. At least she does tell me who she’s talking to. She’s stopped telling me it was her best friend, Amalie, at least for now. Delph was the one who busted her. Well, more that Delph laughed at me that time when I told her Lu was talking to Amalie. Delph might not feel her right side so much. Still doesn’t mean she gets duped by her sister.

Tomorrow morning, Lu will get up and go finish her advanced course in free-diving with former world champion, Carlos Coste. She is currently his youngest pupil at this advanced level in Bonaire free-diving school.

Lu met one of the course requirements yesterday. She dived 30 metres deep. Almost exactly 100 feet on a single breath. She’s told hardly anyone either. She got mad at me today for suggesting she put it on her IG.

‘Why do I want to flex?’ she exclaimed. ‘That skill is not exactly normal.’

The other one watching tv with her dad on different devices, holed up in the front cabin every evening. And mostly, she doesn’t care a hoot. The mosquito does – but I don’t favour its chances. Jack is prowling the boat with his head-torch on, looking for it. I watch one kid, he watches the other. None of us know what is normal. Except for the mosquito. Mosquitos are normal.

2 thoughts on “What Is Normal?

  1. Absolutely amazing! 30 meters is a tremendous depth to do continuous weight. I used to freedive, a lot, be careful please and never let her do it alone but also let her enjoy the incredible freedom it brings. Funnily enough I just took delivery of some very long fins so I could get back to it myself. Such a wonderful way to explore the water. Love reading your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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