I am truly thankful that my wife shares in my interests and takes the time to come along on most of my adventures. It is fun to have her around and it takes the stress away from me spending time away from home to learn and do new things. The support of your spouse can make or break achieving your dreams.
I love learning new things and I have spent countless hours away from the home practicing new skills and or teaching. Aubrey and I were recently married and I never thought about taking her a long when I participated in new things. I assisted an open water scuba diving class over the weekend as a dive master in training and she and the kids came along during both days. I’ve never brought my wife along on any of my adventures and I didn’t know how it would go. I was worried.
I have always been somewhat of a ‘serial hobbiest’ in my life. I embrace new strange things and I want to learn. My quest to become a scuba diving instructor certainly seems a lot more sane than having become a tactical knife fighting instructor, in my past. I have spent months away from home learning, teaching and traveling to teach. I traveled to many breathtaking locations and I often wondered what it would be like to share it with my wife. My previous marriage wasn’t happy and honestly, I don’t think we liked each other. In my quest to find the perfect woman, I sought to find the woman whom I could take anywhere.
Many spouses don’t really care what the other does with their life. Worst still, some spouses are jealous of the new hobby that is pursued. I know many people who feel guilty learning new things and spending time away from home. These are the people who don’t stay for lunch after training or who’s phone is always ringing during training. I am truly grateful to not be in that category anymore. I think a happy marriage is built upon mutual love, respect and yearning to be around the other person.
I was still worried that my wife and two small kids would be bored during the long training days or would somehow get in the way. I am pleased to report that neither of those two things happened and that the time was a complete success. I immediately noticed that the people in the class loved seeing my wife and kids. How great would it be to have someone who supported you so much in your hobbies? The kids took the opportunity to meet everyone and interact. I don’t guess it is normal to have kids around a scuba class. The dog had a better time than anyone. Oh yea, did I forget to mention that we took the entire family?
Onyx is a certified dive dog and loves to be around me in all that I do. She comes with us on the boat so we figured we would take her to the quarry we were diving in. She ate up all of the positive attention that she received from everyone and jumped in to sniff me before I descended to the depths below her. She whined when I was underwater and was so happy to see me when I came to the surface.
The kids made the best out of the time to explore and had a great time on the first day even though it was raining. My wife was smart to bring their rain jackets and umbrellas. Did I mention the 2 changes of clothes? That too. They have really grown to love the outdoors and we are trying to instil self-reliance. I think anytime we give them the opportunity to be alone or together entertaining themselves is a good thing. The kids have really attached themselves to my scuba instructor Steve (Scuba Steve) and his dive master Jason. We’ve hung out with them several times and I am happy they are great with kids.
Aubrey took the time outdoors to catch a wild Canadian goose and several minnows. She divised the perfect trap to catch a bass with her hands. She guided the kids (and dog) on several excursions including a raft ride across the quarry. I had to laugh at the similarity to Tom Sawyer. She became a ‘dive Mom’ by cooking hot chocolate in a big pot on top of our portable cook stove. She made everyone’s day by adding marshmallows and cookies. I was genuinely surprised by the her hospitality towards the class.
I know you’ve heard different sayings about families such as, “families that play together stay together,’ and I think it is true. Having my family present made it a better experience. I guess this is a good thing since I want to lead dives for many years to come. I plan to open up a dive shop in the future and I think it will become a family endeavor. Take your wife, kids and even dog along on your next adventure and see how it works out. You may be surprised to see that you have a much better time. It will bring you closer as a couple/ family.