Swing

Dear sicko,

I have removed the photo you have found so fascinating over the past several months. Really? Eight visits this week? 40 this month? 254 visits since June 2010?

Perhaps I should have paid a bit closer attention to my stats, but then again, I really didn't think people would be coming here to peep at photos of my 3-year-old daughter. Way to affirm my faith in humanity.

Oh yeah, I have your IP address. I wonder what I should do with it?

Best Regards,
Dave


This is my favourite photo of Jane, taken last summer in our backyard. I see a bunch of things in this photo: that smile, the joy of a girl doing her favourite thing in the world. She's pumping by herself for one of the first times, so there's some pride there, too. A keen eye would spot her pink underwear. This was also one of her first days out of a diaper.

Jane had a couple of accidents this week we though would turn her off swinging. The first I didn't see, but heard. I knew she was swinging. I heard a loud "Ooof!", then quiet, then scream/crying. It was the kind of cry that expresses shock, fear, and pain. I'm pretty sure she knocked the wind out of herself.

She explained later that her nose had been itchy, and she tried to scratch it while still swinging.

Jane: I flipped upside down!

I am so glad I didn't see it. She was back on the swing a few minutes later.

Two days after, I was in the yard with the kids. Jane and Alice were swinging while I pitched a softball to Henry. I had promised Jane I'd be over in a few minutes to give her a push.

I walked up behind her, announcing "I'm going to give you a push, Janey." I didn't realize she didn't hear me.

On her backward swing, I put my hands on her back and gave her a good hard shove. I felt her stiffen in surprise. Halfway through her swing going the other way, she gave a little jump. Her butt slipped off the back of her swing, but she still had a hold of the chains with her hands. Momentum carried her up to the apex of her swing, at which point her hands let go. Her legs went straight up, her head went straight down. Her feet hooked around the chains, preventing a vertical drop, but by this time the swing was coming back down. Upside down, suspended by her feet, she came careening back to the ground. Her face dragged in the dirt the full length of one swing.

And I couldn't stop it.

I picked her up. It took a moment for her to cry. When it came, it was that same combination of shock, fear, and pain.

Her one cheek was scratched up pretty good. I'm always amazed by how quickly those things heal. You'd never even notice it today--6 days later.

Later that afternoon she sat back on the swing, but didn't do anything. She just sat there.

Eventually, she asked me for a push.

Jane: But not like last time. Just low, OK?

Three pushes later.

Jane: Higher, Dad! Higher!

7 comments:

just us said...

Tell Janey to watch out for those swings (and mumbling parents but that's another story). At her age, I lent over the swing and swung like a swimmer. Until I overbalanced and toppled head first to the ground, biting straight through my tongue. Blood everywhere. Didn't swing for days (not as brave as your girl) but returned to it with much glee. B/c really, there is nothing like that soaring feeling.

Actually, there are so many swing memories. Parents' ears should perk up when teens start to take up swinging again. I had many of my first dating adventures on and around swings under star-filled skies.

Words Words said...

My sister, in Grade 3, was swinging in our neighbours' back yard. The big girl next door was pushing her as high as she could go (and it was a very high swing), encouraging her to jump.

The taunting got too much, so Karen prepared to launch herself. At the last minute, she decided against it, but fell instead. She broke both of her wrists, and spent the whole summer in two casts and two slings.

(And I had a date or two like the ones you describe. Nice memories.)

karn said...

i also managed to kill all the boys in tether ball at school... i had to get my casts repaired. it was awesome.

Words Words said...

I remember. I wanted casts, too.

I was thinking this morning that you may have been older than I said--maybe grade 6?

stablepersonality said...

Holy Cow. That must have been so scary for you. I understand that helpless feeling well. I'm glad Jane took it so well though.

When I was maybe 12 years old, I hopped onto a swing in my aunt's backyard during a family bbq. It had been quite awhile since I'd been on a swing, so I was flying high and loving it. While swinging, I absentmindedly wrapped my arms around the chains dangling from the swingset to the seat. The chains had the kind links that don't close completely, but come to a cross at the top to make a barb-like structure. After a few minutes, I decided to show off by swinging really high and then jumping. My arms were still wrapped in the chains. I jumped. My body soared forward, the swing began to move backward-- with my arms still tangled around the chains. My momentum and weight yanked my arms free of the chains. But I was left with major chain-link shaped bruises and cuts the entire lenght of both arms.

karn said...

actually it was grade 2... grade 3 was when i flipped over the bike handle bar and ended up with stitches. oh the good ol' days...

Ruth Anne said...

Imagine the stories we'll hear about Her offspring!!! And maybe Jane will become a trapeze artist from this auspicious beginning.