No, not swinging as in the mix it up with different partners (this is a family blog after all), but the sit your bum on a piece of wood, rubber or some other platform hanging by a rope or chain and fly through the air kind of swinging.
One of my strongest memories of childhood is playing at the playground. My favourite thing to do was swing and hurtle down the biggest slide. Time stood still then. I can still remember my Mum calling me, ‘Come on, time to go home now Sarah.’ There was never enough time to play (even though I’d probably had a good hour or so at least!). As a parent I can see the other side of the picture; the cogs of a mother’s brain turning and thinking about the washing, the dinner, the cup of tea that really is essential in the next fifteen minutes should one wish to remain sane.
Perhaps if there were more swings of adult size to fit my derriere I would be happier to stay all afternoon (especially if I was prepared with a thermos of tea & a few biscuits). I have tried, believe me. I’ve squeezed myself in between the chains and balanced on the bar of rubber, before swinging myself into the blue yonder (knowing with 100% peace of mind that I am not going to fly out the seat). I fly through the air, leaning my head back and making myself dizzy before shaking myself back down to size with the scary reality that I might not be able to get my derriere back off the seat and might have to be winched out by emergency services. And then there’s the real risk of taking out a stray toddler on the way down. Oh, it’s just not the same swinging as an adult, especially when accompanying young children to the playground – as they keep stealing all the fun by insisting on being swung all the time, ‘Higher Mummy! Push me! Push me!’… leaving no time for a good old self-indulgent, meditational swing.
UNLESS… that is… there is a BIG swing! Because, me oh my, the thrill of a good swing is UNBEATABLE!
Well, as it happens (and I have blogged about this before with video footage) there is just such an adult sized swing! It’s down at Worser Bay in Wellington (shh, don’t tell everyone!) and Dan took Sophie there on Sunday afternoon, whilst Charlotte, Alice and I tucked up in the warm.
[I would have gone, but Alice was tired and Charlotte had been out in the morning to the museum with Dan. Plus, I needed a ‘rest’ from my darling energy button of a 4 year old – we’d played ‘Toy Story’ for 3 hour’s – she was very much the conductor and I was instructed to play ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ on the piano at least a dozen times.]
Dan and Sophie had a screamer of a time…
And today we were blessed with the most perfect winter’s day of sunshine and no wind, just the ticket for Alice to have a taste of a good swing, bucket style… needless to say, she loved it!
Now THIS is what childhood is all about!
And of course, us big kids never quite forget and still love to have a turn – that is when we can find a swing big enough and the little folk let us 😉