Many years ago, when my nephew was 5, we were at my mom’s for a fun filled vacation weekend. Dillon was swimming in my mom’s pool. She had an older pool and the slope from shallow end to deep end was pretty severe.
I was working on a knitting project so I did not have my eyes on him 100% of the time. Instead I listened to him. He was a happy boy and was talking to himself the whole time he was swimming. Such a joy to listen to.
We were out there quite a long time and then I realized...it was quiet. I looked up from my knitting and saw him bob to the surface up to his chin….go down….bob to his lower lip….go down…bob to his eyes (all of this took about 5 seconds). I realized that he had hit the slope and was headed toward the deep end…without crying out for help.
Giving no thought to my phone (in my pocket) or my fancy watch…I jumped in, grabbed him, and set him on the side of the pool. He did a few sputters and was fine. Scared but fine.
Such a happy ending that could have ended in tragedy. (And every time we see each other we talk about the time ‘Aunt Janie saved his life.’)
Today, for some reason, I thought of that moment in the pool. He knew that the slope was there. He knew he needed to stay away from it. He knew that he could not swim….but he ended up there anyway. How could that even happen? What happened to all of the warnings and the knowledge? Did he forget? Did he not believe us?
I realized that even though he had all of the head knowledge – he had no concept of what that really meant – because it had never happened to him before. Plus, he was just a happy kid, bobbing up and down in the water.
He really had NO idea what was ahead. He had NO idea that he was headed down a slippery slope (in his case a literal one) that could end his life. He had NO idea that he needed to call for help. He just bobbed up and down and up and down. Clueless – right?
What if Dillon did realize he was in trouble. What if he wanted to call for help but was afraid to do that…because he might take in a mouthful of water.
Or, maybe he was crying out for help but took in water. So now he was caught in the middle. Terrified. Take in water and go down…or just go down. Too afraid to cry out for help.
Do you have any secret addictions that need to come out in the light? An eating disorder. Gambling. Sex. Shopping. Lying. Pretending.
Do you have any self-image or self-esteem issues that you cover with bravado?
Are you on the verge of doing something that will change, not only the course of your life, but lives of your loved ones…. forever.
Dillon's mom did not hit him up with a lecture or ‘I told you so's' or ‘Why didn't you listen to me's' when she saw him on the edge of the pool. She was so grateful that he was safe she just hugged him and hugged him and cried. They had ‘the conversation' later.
I pray that NOW is the time for you to ask for help. I pray that NOW is the time for you to admit that you are wrong…and begin to turn everything around and get back on track.
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