I remember the swing set in our yard when I was growing up, and how my dad took such great care to make sure it was sturdy to stand the strain of my sister, brothers and I, and hordes of neighborhood kids. There was a swing with a seat, stood upon as often as it was sat upon, often filled with a pair of kids instead of the one it was designed for. I loved that feeling of pumping my legs hard to get going until that flying feeling took over, and getting my courage up for that soaring leap mid-flight. Then there was the “trapeze” bar- oh, what feats of daring were acted out as we hung upside down, knees crooked over the bar. For the faint of heart (or big sister taking care of little brother) there was a glider- at times, I think we even got that thing going dangerously high. There was a slide, too, but it didn’t have the allure of the swings. It was a hot ride down when the Indiana sun was shining on its metal surface! Although my brothers loved running down it, “Batman” capes billowing behing them.
When my daughter was little, we didn’t have a swing set in the yard. She had a bright blue Little Tykes swing, though, when she was just a baby. Her love of swinging started early. Later, we would trek to the center of our military housing neighborhood where the playground stood with its big swing set. Cries of “push, push” started as soon as she realized where we were headed. Those sunny afternoons (and even a few spring-showery days) hold some of my sweetest mommy memories. We even created our own swinging song, which grew to an endless variety of verses. Here are the ones that started it all…you will just create a sing-songy rhythm if you sing them with a litlle girl (or boy!) who loves to swing, and before you know it, the verses will multiply!
I like to swing, I like to swing, Up and down, back and forth*
I like to swing, I like to swing, I like the air blowing through my hair
I like to swing, I like to swing, Flying high like a birdie in the sky
I like to swing, I like to swing, Soaring way up over the trees
* chorus, repeat between verses
It’s not a literary or musical masterpiece, but that little song has stuck with me over the years. Someday I’ll be singing it again, and it will capture the sweetest grandma memories!