Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scuba and Sex

Oldest Son carries our masks, snorkels and fins along with towels and extra clothes.
Many families put a priority on shared experiences. This type of family bonding takes on an endless number of formats. Within a family there will be certain traditions that are the same every single time because doing it the same way is the point. Our Commuter Family definitely has a few of those. Paradoxically, we have a stronger tradition of exploring and learning different things.

New Undertaking
This weekend started Commuter Family down a new and exciting path. By the end of May, all four of us will have a  PADI Scuba Open Water Certification. Commuter Husband and I are already certified but have not been scuba diving in 13 years thus we are redoing the training. Oldest Son and I spent a total of eight hours together in the water this weekend. We completed the pool work which is part one of a three part course with Adventure Scuba. We now need to finish the six hours of online learning. Commuter Husband and Youngest Son will do their water skills in a couple of weeks and the same online learning requirements. Our Commuter Family will then spend two days diving in Terrell, Texas on Memorial Day Weekend to complete four check out dives.

Oldest Son is fourteen years old. He is taller and stronger than me. Our pool work required lifting a 40 lb scuba tank - several times. Oldest Son was caring and attentive. Without fail, he always tried to ease my lifting burden and help me wherever possible. Oldest Son is also more accomplished than me at all of the scuba skills. I did well but he did great. Oldest Son is a natural scuba diver with his calm, intelligent savoir-faire, fearless attitude and love of the water. Our class started with six and ended with four - scuba is not for all.

Oldest Son and I had fun together in an arena where we both had a shared interest and objective. So much of parenting in today's Western society is one way - we are helping the child or watching the activity or organizing the event. It is refreshing to do something that is of equal interest and benefits all members of the family including Mommy and Daddy.

Unforeseen Lesson
Even though Oldest Son sometimes takes on caring for me now, I am still his parent all day, every day. And I did have a most unexpected teachable moment during this outing with our teenage boy. Please note we are teaching our sons that the images of women presented in mainstream media and in pornography are not even close to real and create distorted views of sexuality. Many of these images are photo shopped and/or contain body parts that have been surgically altered. And sex does not look or feel like the ridiculousness in pornography.  We do not want our sons to expect unrealistic bodies performing crazy acts with their future life partners. All too easy access on the Internet to these kinds of images has the potential result of a generation of seriously skewed expectations.

So how do these thoughts relate to a scuba weekend? Our class included a sweet young woman with what can only be described as a beautiful body. While changing clothes in a communal area, I warned her about my lack of breasts and she excitedly told me she had just got new breasts. Well that made more sense. I had wondered how her particular body shape with a such a narrow rib cage and upper body could have that size breasts ... and yes I know it can happen.

On the way home today, I candidly discussed with Oldest Son all I have written in the two paragraphs above. I asked him if he had any idea that she had a boob job? He said no. We discussed not making judgements about other's individual choices. However, I want to be crystal clear with our two boys that expecting all women to have perfectly proportioned skinny bodies, flawless skin and extra firm parts is not acceptable. It is certainly okay to recognize physical attraction but it should be based on realistic bodies and the love of a person's being.

Oldest Son was a trooper and was an active listener during all of my many, many, many points. I would not say we had an involved two-way discussion nor did I expect one. We are in a new phase of parenting that requires us to share our philosophies on mature topics. I want these ideas planted. He will think about them. Some of them will take and others will not. I want Oldest Son and Youngest Son to know what their parents think about religion, politics, sex, family, education, marriage and on and on and on ...

So. Making shared experiences a priority and learning together can take all kinds of twists and turns for Commuter Family.
The deep end goes down 18 feet. We spent a allot of time at that depth. 
BCDs and regulators for students.

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