It wasn’t until we were on the boat that I realized nobody else in the dive party had come up with us — the gesture had been, “Simone is low on air, so we’re going up.
Do you want to stay with the party, or come with us?
We ended up putting away a pound or two of stone crab claws at a picnic table outside a fish market before meandering down the Keys in our little car and taking in the sights.
When we found a state park full of coral fossils exposed in a defunct quarry, Simone geeked out for an hour, using a laminated guidebook from the ranger’s office to explain to me what we were looking at.
This is all very much on my mind, because Simone applied “early action” to her two favorite colleges and they’re both highly selective.
The next dive that day and the two the day after were easy and gorgeous, in warm water and dazzling sun, swimming over historical shipwrecks and exploring reefs.
Because that’s how it is with Simone — get her past that first bit of doubt, and she settles down, letting her natural gifts restore her confidence.
And then she had to peel the whole thing off when the boat captain suggested we postpone until the next day.
But I noted the relief in her sigh as she yanked her left foot out of the leg of the suit.