"Sink or swim"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HereWeGoAgain, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    My dearest gift from God,

    Today I told you it was finally time for you to sink or swim.

    You said I was cruel and heartless. How could I abandon you to drown like that? I must hate you and want you to drown, you said.

    My child, when you were tiny, I held you in the sink to bathe you. When you were just a little bit older, my hand was always under you in the tub.

    When you were a little older yet, I took you to the pool. I dressed you in a life jacket and was there with you every second as you bobbed around in the shallow end. I wiped away your tears when you got water in your face. You had so much fun, laughing and playing, and so did I – but my fun was tempered by fear. I had to be continually on guard against dangers you did not even know about.

    I taught you to respect the water, and that accidents do happen. I drilled the rules into you – never swim alone, don’t go out of your depth, don’t dive into unknown waters.

    I paid for swimming lessons. I bought you floaties and swim fins and kickboards to buoy you up and help you learn. I took you to the beach, and out on boats, everything to get you used to the water. I told you how dangerous the water could be. I explained about rip currents, and waves, and storms, and told you how to avoid the danger or survive, if you couldn’t avoid it. I said to respect the water, but not to fear it.

    To help you, and for my own peace of mind, I learned all about water safety. I even went to classes and got my own Water Safety Instructor certification.

    From the first, you believed you were an expert swimmer. Time and again you headed for the deep end and cried and shouted that you could swim if I would just leave you alone. A time or two I let you jump in, just to show you how much you still had to learn; I jumped right in behind you and pulled you out when you started to flail about. Yet you still thought you swam on your own, without my help.

    A couple of times you jumped in when I wasn’t looking. When you started drowning, the lifeguards jumped in to save you. A big crowd gathered around, all of them concerned about you. You kind of liked it – not the drowning part, but all the attention. You started to think that there would always be a lifeguard nearby, and in the back of your mind you thought that I would always be there to save you, even though you said you didn’t need me.

    You got to where you could do a couple of laps in the pool. Do you know that I dreamed that you would be an Olympic champion swimmer? I had such high hopes. But you always panicked when you started to tire.

    My gift from God, now you are an adult, and I am getting so tired. I have swam beside you, and carried you, and rescued you, so many times and for so long that my strength is giving out. Now I am afraid that next time I try to rescue you, in your struggles you will pull me under and drown us both.

    Nobody else can swim for you. One day I will be gone, and you will have to swim in the ocean, by yourself, with all the big waves and storms. When that day comes, and it will be soon, I want you to survive, and thrive. So, for your own sake, I have to stand here and hold myself back from pulling you out again. You know how to swim, so – swim, or sink.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Buoyant - and beautiful! Extremely well put. Now print it out and send it or maybe let it float to her on a river of tears.
  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    That is amazing! I think I will print it out for myself. It is a perfect example of how we feel. I have always felt as if they would drown if I walked away. It was the hardest thing for me to do since I was such an overprotector. but lately I have tried to detach from the situation. I dont want to detach too much but I feel I had to step back.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is absolutely beautiful.
  5. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    That was very beautiful and moving. It says it all.
  6. Genny

    Genny Worlds Best Nana


    Wow - that was beautiful HWGA. I'm saving it for future reference.
  7. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    That was sooo beautiful! Your daughter is so very lucky to have a father like you. I hope that one day soon, your daughter understands what you have been teaching her.
  8. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    WOW, I am moved to tears. Beautifully written!!! It encapsulates a parent and child relationship to the tee. Oh, how we wish they could be in floaties forever.

    God bless. :)
  9. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    With tears in my eyes, WOW!
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Wow. I actually saw you with your daughter in the water while reading that. I felt your fear.

    I so hope she gets it. Your family is in my prayers.
  11. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    Thank you for sharing that with us. I bet she ends up remembering how to swim and how much you love her.
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    That's beautiful!
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    That was excellent. Thank you for your post.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    That is the most well put, beautiful thing I've read in a long time.

    When you give it to her, you ought to save a copy.

    (in my opinion it ought to be archived here, as well, because I think other parents would benefit from reading it as well in the future.)

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Beautiful. You know, I thought I was the only one whose child had to be repeatedly rescued in a swimming pool because he just plain felt smart enough to swim. Eventually, like yours, he did learn.

    I will keep a prayer in my heart for your family.
  16. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Thank you.

  17. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Give this post to you daughter.