Monday, June 2, 2008

The Swing Set

This swing set came from my son's first babysitter, who ran a daycare out of her home in Northern Virginia. When she was in the process of shutting down and needed extra money, she offered to sell it to us. Realizing the trauma (my word) of my son not seeing the babysitter anymore, I bought the swing set in the hopes of having some sort of continuity around and to serve as a reminder of Nhiem, the babysitter. I even disassembled and hauled it from No-Va to Mathews when we moved back here. I just couldn't let it go or leave it behind. I've had it for about 10 years now.

Both my son (12) and my daughter (9) have known this swing set since they were toddlers. When my daughter was a baby, I replaced one of the swings with a baby swing, and she loved nothing more than to rock to and fro, laughing the whole time, her incredibly soft, chubby baby legs sticking straight out, ripe for kissing.

Son and daughter outgrew this years ago. I've said several times that I'd like to get it out of the yard, get rid of it, give it away or haul it to the dump. Yet I can't really bring myself to do so.

Can I take a time out here and point out the tall grass sprouting in various parts of this picture? The grass cutting required to tame this is for the detail-oriented and requires a push mower, or rather someone who wants to push a push mower. That someone is not me. I'll ride a tractor until the cows come home, but push mowing and weed-eating are not something I'm interested in. And don't get me started on the mowing required to cut the bank along the shore line (located further back in the picture along with a glimpse at a tiny cove in our creek, although you can't see it well). Herculean strength is required to balance the push mower with the 90-degree angles and the stumps and sticks getting caught up in the blades. I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it. Back to whatever I was talking about.

The last day of school for us is today, and although time has definitely picked up speed the older I get, I have never experienced a quicker school year than this one. Even they say so, it's not just me.

This summer, my son will become a teenager. This frightens me for a number of reasons. First, in my mind I am still a teenager, so to have a child that age is not right. Second, he's old enough not to need--or necessarily want to be around--me as much any more. He's growing up. I can't accept that yet; I don't want to let go of the notion of him as a little boy who needs me.

This swing set represents a lot of things for me. Mostly I see Son and Daughter as toddlers loving it. And now it sits as a relic of the past. They are growing, growing too fast.

I'm clinging to the swing set like I'm clinging to them.

At some point I have to let go.

Maybe tomorrow.


Mental P Mama said...

Oh I so feel your longing. Great post, as usual;)

Bear Naked said...

Don't let it go.
I would keep it if it were mine.

Oh and I have a perfect solution for the mowing problem.


MommyTime said...

What a sweet post. I love this swing set. It took my mom years to get rid of ours too.

I do think a goat might be a good idea for you, by the way.

foolery said...

Some swing sets are ugly and hold no sentimental value whatsoever. Those get hauled or given away immediately.

Your swing set is wonderful and looks like it formed itself out of your trees. I'd keep it as long as the possibility of future grandchildren still looms.

As usual, CBW, a pleasure to read. :)

tj said...

...Well CBW I dunno about you but that looks like a very sturdy swing, maybe even sturdy enough for say, your future grandchildren?... ;o)

...What a wonderful memory of your children and thank you for sharing. Your story is so well told that I could even see lil' children swinging and you could almost hear the laughter...

...I vote swingset stays. :o)


kaffy said...

I love the swing set. The swings look like two smiles, one blue for your boy, and the red for your sweet girlie. I say keep it for the memories and swing on it when you need a "lift".

Anonymous said...

great post! I see, one day, a young man bringing home his toddler son to stay with if the first things he will want to do his put his son on that swing, something that he did when was young. My father died a year ago. We faught all the time, bitterly. Everyday, for better or worse, I find myself being more like him. I take my son and do the the things he did with me, to ground myself and connect my son to our past. Save the swing to ease your son's longing.... just a thought

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you all so much. The very day this was written (was that yesterday? it seems like two years ago), I had to make a trip to the ER with Son. He's fine now, but I'm worn out.

Nice to come home to these comments. If I have the energy, I'll write about this saga. If not, I'll bore you with something else.

Thank you all so much!