Italian Family Diving

There have been a lot of articles lately in the other dive magazines touting the benefits of diving with your family. Obviously, these article are not written by authors in Italian families.

My wife’s family background is heavy Italian and while they are loving and demonstrative of that love, when they fight, my God they can fight! That Italian disposition has been passed on to my sons, including my 12 year old who just got scuba certified.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some advantages to Italian family diving. For one, you don’t have to teach them sign language. With Italians, it is in-born. In fact, they cannot communicate without their hands. I’ll never forget one of my wife’s family gatherings where two of her uncles were in a heated discussion. One, trying to get a word in edgewise, grabbed the hands of the other to which he responded, “Let go of my hands so I can talk!”

Much as with any pre-adolescent boys, my son and his mother often end up in heated confrontation. Never could I have imagined what this was going to look like underwater!

We’ve taken to diving as a threesome. I know that is not the best arrangement but the main hazard here is not the number by the flying hands. On a recent dive my wife was running low on air and it was time for all of us to return to the boat, regardless of the fact that he and I still had plenty of air. No matter what we did, we could not get him off the bottom (a particular fish had caught his attention). Finally getting his attention, an argument ensued between my son and his mother. Never before did I think it possible for two people to carry on an argument underwater without the aid of communication devices. This went on for the full three minutes of the safety stop, hands flying in classic Italian fashion that I am only just beginning to understand in my nearly 20 years of marriage.

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