When I was a little girl my family had a swing set in the backyard next to my brother’s clubhouse and there was nothing in this whole entire world that I loved more than that rickety swing set. My childhood ritual was every single day I would take my Fisher Price boom box, set it at the end of the swing set pole, turn it up full blast and I would sing on my blue swing.
I cannot tell you why I loved to swing so much, in fact I don’t even remember learning the art of pumping your legs back and forth – but I do remember that it felt like “flying.” My swing became my friend overnight, and as I got older I not only swung on my swing in the mornings but I loved it even more at nighttime – my parents said I could only go out at night if my music wasn’t too loud. At night I wasn’t just swinging into clouds, but stars instead.
There came a summer though, when I got taller and I got heavier and my old rickety swing set could no longer handle my awesome swinging skills. My dad took it down, kept my blue swing and spent several weeks building me a new wooden swing set, but this new one had a shelf for my boom box – which made me smile so much, by the time I was done swinging and listening to my boom box for the first time, my cheeks hurt. And, now since I was so proud of my new and improved swing set I swung more than ever. The neighbors next door began wondering when I was going to swing over the top I began to swing so high, and my Grandmother always watched from the back kitchen window – it became another ritual of mine – to look over in the kitchen window and see my Grandmother standing there.
But the thing that a lot of people may have not understood about this swing was that it was my escape and the ultimate source of my imagination as a child. I was everything on that swing – I was a popstar once, and one time I imagined being a popstar’s gorgeous girlfriend. I have traveled the world on that swing – one day I was in Hawaii and then the next I was in the Irish countryside. I have even fallen in love on that swing, imagining love stories and fairy tales. I have both laughed with joy and cried with sorrow while sitting upon that swing. It was not only a swing, but as cheesy as it sounds, it became one of my very good friends – after all it knows my dreams and my desires more than anyone else could ever tell you.
If it could talk, it would probably tell you that as a child I listened to way too much Hanson and that it secretly got sick of me several years ago. I am sure it wished that I had picked up biking instead or dancing. But I always stayed. It was always hard saying goodbye to something that had given you so much to remember.
Now I am twenty years old and my body no longer fits on my blue swing and my legs have gotten so tall that they drag along the ground. It still hangs from the wooden swing set next to my brother’s old clubhouse. I often wonder if my old friend wonders where I have been – maybe it knows I have grown older and clearly am not the young girl I once was.
Tonight while sitting on my family’s back porch my parents and I discussed about replacing the swing with something else, “maybe a nice porch swing,” my dad had said. A porch swing would be lovely, don’t get me wrong, but it makes me incredibly said to have to say goodbye to something I love so much. Its moments such as these that make me feel sad to be growing up – a moment where I just want to rewind and be the little girl swinging with her Grandmother looking at her from the kitchen window. But, I suppose I should just feel blessed for even having the friendship with it at all.
So, goodbye my friend; thank you for giving me wonderful memories and a lifetime of dreams and imagination. I can only hope my future children are blessed with something as joyful as you were to me.