I learned some important things during our vacation in Corfu. Wasps don’t like smoke. Google maps can tell you to drive in circles. Jacques Cousteau invented scuba diving.
The scuba diving bit was learned on this boat in the town of Nisaki, on Corfu’s northeast side. If you look closely you’ll see Chris, the owner of Apollo dive, sitting with my wife and kids.
Chris and his wife Maria led us on five dives in total. The kids took a written test to pass their certification. Now we can dive as a family anywhere in the world.
There were differences in the kids’ behavior during this diving thing. At night, when they were studying for the test, there were no complaints.
Not one “this is boring!”
Nor a single “do I have to?”
“Why no complaints?” we wondered out loud.
“Because we care about this stuff,” was the response.
Predictable. But also brilliant. Reminding me of an expensive and questionable masters degree in Ed I earned a million years ago. Most schoolwork has little relevance in student’s lives. This stuff was relevant, interesting, and important.
Another difference in their behavior. Teamwork. Sure, they work together at home — but it’s fleeting. Within a few minutes there’s often raised voices, impatience, and selfishness.
Their relationship was different during the dive. They had to do buddy checks. To look over one another’s equipment. To stay close to one another under the water. To take care of one another. Chris explained, strongly, how important this stuff is to their survival, and the kids lived up to it.
Walking onto the beach was exhausting. Wet suits, tanks, and regulators on our backs. The rocks were painful under bare feet. I looked up and saw my kids helping each-other. They were holding hands, finding their sandals on the shore.
Memories change into snapshots. Sometimes you see something and know the snapshot is being captured right then and there. This was one of those times.
It was an unforgettable vacation.