I’m Going Scuba Diving, Lord Help Me

Scuba Diving with my Autistic SonI wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be on vacation the next week and will not be doing any blog posts. Don’t worry – you can still read my funny shit over on my FB page (are you following me there? You should…here’s the link again just in case). It’ll be ok, based upon my shitastrophous luck I will have all sorts of epic hell to share throughout the week.

The 11 year old and I are headed out on a Mom/Son trip to some tiny ass island in the Caribbean named Dominica, and no it is not the Dominican Republic that would have been too easy. We are headed way south (like holy fuck it’s gonna take a day to get there) to enjoy (God willing) scuba diving.

Last year the then 10 year old and I got scuba certified. You may or may not know that my son has Autism (high functioning), and when he was 8 years old he began his quest to become certified. We thought he would ‘grow out of it’ by the time he turned 10 – which is the earliest a child can be certified. Well he didn’t. Naturally one of us parents was going to have endure this certification with him, since he is you know 10. I had my heart and mind set on The Hubs doing it, however he was sure as shit that he wasn’t doing it. One thing led to another and guess who ended up falling on the fucking scuba sword….Me.

I should probably mention I hate getting wet, actually I loathe it. When I go in the water during the summer at our cottage people cheer – my kids stop whatever they are doing to marvel that Mom is in the water. Now The Hubs is a total water dad, he snorkels with the kids, swims with them, and plays in the water. He would have been the natural fit, until he said “No” and the 10 year old almost cried in the store forcing me to step forward as the hero and sign up for the certification class with him.

Last year we completed our open water dives in St. Thomas on a family trip. It was awesome, other than me getting a huge gash in my leg, which I didn’t realize other than the burning sensation in the aforementioned limb. There was no blood – because duh Shithead…you are in the Caribbean and the water washed it away – but somehow I didn’t realize this. Making matters worse there was the issue with me being horribly sea sick from our boat being tossed around like Moby Dick’s bitch. This resulted in the crew throwing me a line and telling me to “just tread water” while the rest of the divers finished up. As I ran in place in the pitching waters I prayed there were no hostile fish around, because I am prone to over reacting in scenarios and was sure Jaws was seconds away from eating me. I bobbed just off the stern for a good thirty minutes while I swallowed half the ocean. Eventually everyone got on board and they towed me in. It wasn’t until I got on board, took my gear off, and sat down that I noticed the large puddle of blood at my feet. Yup, my leg had been leaching blood the whole fucking time I was out there. It’s probably best I didn’t know this.

I proceeded to suck on pineapples, trying my best to focus my eyes on the horizon, as we headed back to port. All I could think of was how close to being shark food I was. It also took me a full day to recover from my boat rocking adventure. You would think that would have been enough to ward off scuba diving for my lifetime, and it would have if it were not for my son. But because I am a glutton for punishment I am heading back out to do it all again. Why? Well my kid loves it. He relaxes in the water, it has sensory benefits for him, he feels proud of himself when he succeeds at it, he loves seeing the fish and coral, and it is something he could do as an adult – possibly a career if he so chooses. So I am going. I am going to get all the gear on, I am going to focus on his happiness and how his problems go away while he is under water. I am going to take this time to bond with him when there are no distractions. I am going to suck it up and do it, because that’s what you do when you are a parent. You try to put your child’s benefit ahead of your own fears. I will swallow my anxiety, and probably a few mouthfuls of salt water, and take this time to be with my son.

Now I’m not a total idiot I have gotten a prescription for motion sickness, god willing it works, and I have also purchased a full wet suit because I will not be shark chum again. I am highly concerned about the travel time and my kid sitting on a plane for so long, but I’m taking my Xanax and hope I can make it without losing my shit. Sadly I do not have enough for the whole plane, so they are on their own – I may end up purchasing a few rounds of alcohol for everyone but that’s the least of my worries. We are also traveling with a group who knows my son, they taught us both how to scuba and his instructor from St. Thomas is even coming over for the whole week to dive with us, much to my relief. Our accommodations are a bit sparse, and there are little options for dining, but if that’s the biggest problem I have then I’m ahead of the game.

I would like to ask that if you are one to say a prayer please keep me and him on your thoughts next week, cause we’re gonna need it.

All the best, fingers and toes crossed, I’ll see ya when we return.


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  1. kdcol says:

    I’m pretty sure my kiddos would beg me NOT to do scuba with them. Please, I had an all out panic attack my first attempt at snorkeling. I just don’t know if I’d be able to pull it together even for my kids’ sake. Kudos to you. 🙂

  2. Tom F. says:

    You’re a very good mother.

  3. Debra says:

    You are a good mom.

    • You gotta suck it up sometimes, and man do I have to work over every ounce of NO! I am screaming. But I gotta say the more dives I did this week the more amazing it got, it just took me some time to get to this point.

  4. Phil says:

    Have a great vacation and try not to become a shark’s dinner. I stay as far away from the ocean as possible, unless I’m on a cruise, on a big oceanliner, in a hot tub.

    You go mommy!

    • We survived! Had some great moments, some moments we could have done with out, and memories we will always cherish – once we talk to each other in about a week. I think we were about two days to long for such an intense travel trip with the boy.

  5. Sam says:

    Shedding all your fears for the benefit of your kid is simply great. You’re truly a great hero and good Mom.


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