It’s one of those conversations we have all had.
Friend: “OH” (said with some trepidation) “ so you’re going to teach your girlfriend/wife <INSERT AS APPROPRIATE> to drive? You’re brave. Rather you than me”
You: “Yeah! It’ll be fun. Something we can share. Anyway, I reckon I am good at teaching plus I am amazingly patient so it’ll be FINE”
A few days later…
You: “So, errr, me and <INSERT GIRLFRIEND/EX-WIFE’S NAME> have decide to take a break… The whole teaching her to drive was a bit trickier than planned”
You could transpose this conversation to a few different situations but for the sake of the next 700 words, I will talk about teaching family to dive. I’ll start by reminding you that I taught my brother a few months back for both his Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses AND he was also my first ever student.
My brother and I get on well. We are reasonably similar, unconditionally supportive to each other (which is a rarity these days) and fairly laid back. Hearing stories from Zoe and Tim here about teaching family to dive, it sounded like I had lined myself up for a trial run of the apocalypse. We had agreed a fair way in advance that I would teach him to dive and he seemed excited about it all so I felt good.
I am not sure what to say next. I expect that you hope that it all went cataclysmic-ally wrong and that somehow one or both of us ended up hideously deformed so I am hugely sorry to disappoint because it went very well on the whole to the extent that he was actually KEEN to do his Advanced Open Water. Were that not the case, we would not have been able to get this brilliant picture (now one of my all time favorites:)
What I will say about the experience was it helped remind me and re-enforce the importance of patience. He is my brother. I love him dearly. BUT, there was one moment where we did not see directly eye-to-eye and naturally it was my fault as the instructor. This got me thinking.
As with anything in life there is an inherent risk when SCUBA diving. I like to compare it to crossing the street. As long as you are careful and do not do anything stupid then you will be fine. On the flip side, I am happy to let myself take this risk but placing my brother in this position is a whole different bag of badgers especially when I am the one in the position of responsibility. How is this different from teaching a non-family student? How is this that far removed from when he takes much greater risks on his own accord? I think my Dad puts it best. When we are away from each other he cannot worry too much about what we are doing but when I am back home staying with him then he likes me to check in during the evening if I am not going to be home at a decent hour. This is reasonable. I was nervous because he was HERE. When he was off diving in Oz afterwards, how could I worry? I had taught him after all!! He was fine.
So. Brother is certified. Dad is on his way out. We have decided against the Open Water because he will probably never use it again so… This opens up a new question to the floor. Discover Scuba Diving anyone? I am keen. He is apprehensive. Thoughts?
The Hallowed picture AFTER finishing his Advanced course. Properly cherish these snaps!