Saturday, November 10, 2012

On the Upswing

Even though I was just a young girl, merely four years old, I recall with such vividness the feeling of swinging on the swing set just outside my pre-school.  I can still smell the wet sand beneath my runners and the feeling of the wind in my face, rushing past my ears.  I felt like I was truly flying, full of freedom, happiness.  I would pump my legs so strong and swing so high I could see the church steeple behind the school building.

I remember the underdogs my Dad would give me as a little girl.  He still remains (according to my sons') the best "hunder-dogger" ever.

I also remember falling off a wooden swing at a camp ground when I was about six.  You know the swings that are basically a piece of plywood balancing on a chain?  Not exactly kid-friendly there folks.

I don't recall the first time I learned how to swing independently.  But you's kind of a big deal.  Maybe not as big of a deal as learning how to ride a two-wheeler bike...but still.  It's big.

Although now that I really think about it.  It's much more of a bigger deal to the parents than the child.

Let's be frank about our lovely offspring and swings shall we?  Alright then.

The first time you put your sweet baby in a baby swing at the park when they're about 4-6 months old and you begin to push them as gently as a soft summer breeze because we certainly wouldn't want to give our darling children wind whiplash now would we?  No no.  They're big, adorable toothless grins melt our hearts at once as we coo in our new high pitched Mommy voice, "Oh you love swinging sugar plum?  Oooohh look you!  You love it!  Are you having sooooo much fun sweetie pie?  You are!  Look at you go!" 

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  We all do it.  Don't even try to pretend you have no idea what I'm talking about...but you see.  This is our first mistake as parents.  We should never, ever, ever introduce our children to swings in the first place.  They suck you in!  Did you see how that just happened?!  And by the 200,000,000 push you couldn't be more over it, biting back words of irritation to your adorably innocent 3 year old child like, "Learn how to pump your legs already!  I mean COME.ON!  How hard IS IT?!!!"

Can I admit that I wanted to start some sort of petition stating that all swings going forward should be banned from parks?  Is that wrong?  I cannot possibly be the only Mother in the world that thinks this.  When I go to the park with my boys I want them to run and jump and slide and climb and hang from monkey bars.  I want them to burn all of that hellion energy off!!!  I don't want them sitting on a stupid swing all la-diggity-da while I push them!  Don't I do enough for them in life?!  What!  I have to push you on a *&^%)( swing now!?

Throw two kids into the mix that can't pump their own legs and I'm telling you it's like my own personal hell.  Especially when the only swings available are not side by side so your basically all GoGo Gadget Mama with your arms pushing 100 km a minute as you run like a maniac back and forth between swings while your blessed spawn screech, "Me Mommy!  My turn!"  "No my turn!  Higher! Faster!"  It never ends well.  It never does my friends.  And aren't the parks supposed be for good times?  Fun times?  So you all agree with me right?  Swings should be banned.

But then you're outside in your backyard (where those damn swings are again) on a mild November Saturday morning and all of a sudden your four year old son just starts pumping his strong little legs away on the swing. There he goes!  Higher and higher and higher.  There's that smile.  Except it's even bigger now.  Brighter somehow.  Because he's doing it all on his own.  So you sit on the other swing and you begin to swing along side with him.  And those feelings of when your were just a four year old girl rush back.  Flying.  Freedom.  Happiness.  You tilt your head on the upswing to a typical November sky that's grey-white with dense clouds. The scent of damp earth hangs in the air as your dog contentedly chews a stick in front of you and you listen to your child's giddy laughter beside you.

All of a sudden it hits you.

As you became an adult you forgot something.

Something very important.

Something you never want to forget again.

Swings are actually the best damn things ever invented.

There he goes!  In action!


Kristin said...

Ah, the good ol' love-hate relationship with swings. Now that my big gal is in Kindergarden she's freakin' me out by how high she wants to go and the stories of what kids do for each other (underdoggies etc). Now I just see swings as way too dangerous, but I'd be damned if I ever took those swings away from my girl! She loooves the excitement of it all.

Kristin said...

I just found this website tonight while searching for unique gifts. THIS reminded me of this post. THIS makes me want to have a swing in my backyard and THIS makes me want to own a swing forever!
Check it out!