on swinging.


“The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson

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,
Rivers 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!


One of the quirks of my wild boy is that he has always preferred what he calls the “baby swings”. He will run and jump and climb most anywhere, but he has not wanted to get on a big swing. I find it baffling, but I was happy to go along with him until recently when I could not really lift him up into the baby swing anymore. I am too short and he was getting too heavy, plus his shoes were always getting caught and falling off when I tried to get him out.

I told him I thought he was just getting too big to go in the baby swings, and he took it well. My guess is that he knew it was time but just needed a reason to make the switch. He’s asked about it a few times and I reminded him that we are moving on now that he is almost four. He’s been fine but it does feel a little bit like the end of an era. The baby swings at our park are down the hill away from the rest of the playground equipment and it is weird to think that we are done going over there, even if it is time to move on.

Today I pushed him on the big swings and was delighted to swing so high. I recited a few lines from the poem above, just as my mom did for me. Despite the chill in the air, I felt his enjoyment and mine mingle together my and the common grace of the moment warmed me to my toes.

(The picture above was from Tuesday, which was considerably warmer. He took his shirt off and ran around after that picture was taken. He was kind of mad that I made him leave his shirt on today. And his coat. I’m so mean.)

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