Simone didn’t have strong feelings about the adventure either way, which was maddening and, well, expected.

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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.

The next morning, after a Waffle House breakfast, we found Simone a lycra bodysuit (recommendation from a close friend of mine), and that afternoon she was able to slip the rented wetsuit right on without fuss or stress.

The sun bounced rainbows off the rooster tail wake behind the boat as we left the quay and headed out to open water.

I wanted to get Simone back in the water before she forgot how much she loved diving and how good she was at it.

During these stressful times, while she awaits early application responses from her two top schools, I want to do anything I can to help keep her confidence high.Our dive guide was a college student studying underwater archeology, so she and Simone bonded pretty much right away on all the nerdy things.And she was stoked to be with us on Simone’s first post-certification dives.So giving her props for diving while trying to coach her on better control in her swimming is a delicate dance.The benefit of Simone’s rapid emptying of her tank wasn’t clear to me until our final dive.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.