Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Swing

I hate decisions. I couldn't decide which of these two I liked better. Now that I've spent four days waiting for both of them to upload on my dial-up internet, I think I like the one below better. But I like the one above too. Below. Above. Below. Above. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Chocolate and peanut butter. Reeses.

Do you see how my twisted brain works? All day long it is just free association. Do I need to be medicated for this? (Please do not answer that question.)

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

-Robert Louis Stevenson
I used to love to swing. I say "used to" because if I get on a swing now, I get dizzy. I hate getting old. (Three "gets" in one paragraph. My college professor would be so proud.)

Some childhood memories of swinging include:

* Swinging from a grape vine and dropping into the Piankatank River over and over and over again.

* Accidentally chipping fellow third grader Mary Blair's front tooth on a swing when we collided. We were rough housing on the swing. Her tooth hit the chain. Later in life, I saw her when she was visiting her brother at my college. Her tooth is still chipped. I feel guilty about that. For that reason alone, my only rule with my kids is no rough housing. Just ask them.

* Swinging really high and then jumping out. Fellow fourth grader Mary Beth did this and her jumper got caught in the chain of the swing. Good news: she landed safely. Bad news: Her dress was ripped to shreds.

This reminds me of another story about a dress that has nothing to do with a swing. When I was a kid my front tooth--that was not chipped because Mary Blair did not return the favor--was loose. It dangled and dangled but would not come out. I wouldn't let anyone near it. No way were they going to tie a piece of string to it and tie the other end to a door knob and then slam the door. We might have been freakish, but we were not the Three Stooges. And no way was I letting them near me with a pair of pliers. No way.

One day I came home from school and couldn't get my jumper off for some reason. My mother (aka Mamma, pronounced "mumma" as Mathews Native Who Comments so correctly pointed out yesterday), evidently a bit frustrated with my failed attempts at undressing, rushed over, grabbed the bottom of the dress, pulled it over my head and in the process managed to ensnare my tooth and ripped it out as she yanked the dress over my head.

I hate dresses to this day. And I hate dealing with my teeth even though one is practically falling out of my head. And what this has to do with the topic of this post is as follows:absolutely, positively nothing.

But I do feel like eating a peanut butter cup. I think I'll get one now.


Living on the Spit said...

I used to love swinging as a child. I would swing and swing and swing. I know I must have logged a trillion hours on that swing set and every year my daddy would put up a new seat and chain for me. I could be alone on that swing or with a really didn't matter. I went on the BEST adventures to far away places and I dreamed of different things. I always wanted a swing in my was so soothing to me...the motion...fooorwarrrd and baaaaaack...foooorrrwarrdd and baaaaaack. I think, for me swinging was theraputic...I probably am in need of some good ol' swing time now. Thanks for posting this...I haven't thought about those times in a while. some Reese's.

Mental P Mama said...

It's no wonder you are afraid of the dentist. And I don't think there's anything better than children on a swing. By the way, I like the top photo better for some reason.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you remember these stories! But that was pretty good. I haven't heard a dress referred to as a "jumper" since I don't know when....actually, I think we just called them uniforms. I thought a jumper was some type of equipment we used for basketball practice. BTW, I love the poem!!

-Middle Sis

Caution Flag said...

I loved this post. Why? Because I GET it. The first picture gets my vote. I like seeing the tree.

Grandma J said...

The top photo shows the tree trunk, the bottom one doesn't. The are both beautiful picturs.

I think there is a divine purpose when we maim our childhood friends. I don't know what it is, but it's there.

Big Hair Envy said...

First picture gets my vote.

Heading to the swing now....with a bag of Reese's cups.


Anonymous said...

When I saw the title to this one as " Swinging "... I have to admit I was very scared to open it.
Little Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Middle Sis - The daily uniform was also referred to as a jumper. The leaper was the machine we used to "help" us in basketball. In reality, that torture machine is responsible for my bad back.

Little Sis - Speaking of bad back, I think you're taking too many of those pain meds. The SWING. Not SWINGING. Are you coming home this weekend?? Your niece and nephew have forgotten what you look like.(Send me an e-mail.)

Hey to everyone else - thanks for responding. This and the one I'm posting tomorrow are examples of writing that I really want to re-do and/or not post at all because I just don't like it.

As long as my random, wordy writing is eliciting fond memories, then it is all worth it. On second thought, perhaps it is just the pictures doing that.....Oh well. After tomorrow's story I will try my best to pare the words down some.

In person, you can't get me to say more than two words. Writing, I don't know when to stop.

I'm stopping now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, on HERE it says " the swing", but on the email that prompted me to look at this it clearly stated " SWINGING"..don't mess with me I'm chock full of rage...

Little Sis

Bear Naked said...

Thank you so much for posting Robert Louis Stevenson's poem.
Every and I mean every time I see a photo of a swing that poem instantly jumps to my mind.

And Reeces peanut butter cups--- Sobbing uncontrolably here.
I want one or six right now.

Bear((( )))

foolery said...

If your college professor doesn't like your writing he/she deserves to have his/her foot slammed in a doorway. Preferably by the same door that's tied to your tooth.

Hey, did I tell you I'm moving across the street? To my childhood house. Now you and Soup can come visit and have a place to sleep that isn't crawling with ants or on the kitchen floor.

Rebeckah said...

These pictures are beautiful! And that poem-so lovely! Your posts are so well written. Thank you for reminding me of simple day to day joys. I am going to take my kids to the park tonight and push them on the swings.

MommyTime said...

I think the picture on the top is better, personally. I prefer it without so much empty space. The darkness of the tree balances out the bright colors of the setting sun better, and it's more glow-y. But I'm just a goof, so what do I know?