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, dont go out of your depth, dont 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 couldnt 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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.