Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thank You for Teaching Me to Be Myself

At the time, I was terrified. How could he do it? Did he not care about me? Today, I look back and thank my dad. He had faith in me to figure it out on my own.

I must have been seven or eight years old. We were on vacation. My dad decided it was time I learned how to swim. So, he picked me up and threw me into the swimming pool . . . into the deep end of the pool!

My arms were flailing. My legs were kicking. I was yelling, “I’m drowning! I’m drowning!”

“Calm down! Swim to me. I won’t let you drown.” Those were the words of my father, only a few feet away from me.

I lived. I survived the moment. I’m here to write about it.

I do not remember all the particulars of that day. I am certain that I am over-dramatizing the details. Yet, that day taught me something important about my father. He believed in me. He knew I had the ability to do something that absolutely terrified me: swim.

He could have caudled me. He could have gently picked me up and held me in his arms as he gently instructed me in the fine points of swimming. He chose a different method, one that was alarming at first, but one that I thank him for today.

I am a fairly independent person, today. I like to do things on my own, to think for myself, to take the initiative . . . to lead. I am a self-starter, because of my father.

Dad, thank you for your love. Thank you for teaching me to be myself and to depend on the abilities God has given me. Thank you for modeling excellence in your life. I hope that I always honor you with my life.