Posted by: sistermom1 | September 15, 2010

Our Swing Set

We got rid of the swing set today. 

Our kids turned 14 and 11 this month, and it has been some time since they even used the swing set.  (Not the coolest toy for tweens and teens.)  To be honest, it  has been unsafe for a couple of years, and it has been several months since anyone played  on it.  I look into our backyard and see the empty space left by the missing swing set.  I have an image of our children when they were toddlers, swinging joyfully and with abandon.  I remember walking and running up the back hill to watch, push and sometimes swing with them during the spring and summer months.  I can also see the set in the winter months, the slide and each swing covered with snow.  One baby seat for our daughter and one big-boy seat for our son(eventually two regular swings were in place), a ladder and slide – all covered by a striped awning, also a trapeze-style swing on one side, all shaded by an old tree in the back yard.  A great view from any window on the back of our house.  Our yard was filled with joyful laughter and play.

That was the norm for many years — until Wii and XBox took over our children’s perspective.  Now don’t get me wrong – I love and even play the Wii, and do enjoy talking with listening to our son play Halo with his friends on XBox.  But I do miss the sounds of them playing in the backyard. 

Things are different than when I was a child and could safely play outside for the entire day without ever checking in with my parents.  (No cell phones either!)  There was always someone outside ready to have an adventure — no need for organized playdates, no Amber alerts, or worries about child predators (Every one seemed to know the houses where the “unusual” people lived.)  The things we worry about so deeply now were issues then, but because everyone seemed to know everyone else in the neighborhood, the possibility of remaining off any of the mothers’ radar was quote slim.

I miss those times for our children.  I also miss having the ability to physically monitor our children’s outside play.  I used to ride my bicycle and walk along the trails with them, or run with them to get exercise.  I cannot send them to a friend’s house to play because we live so far from their closest friends that it requires a drive to get them there. (You may recall that I do not yet drive – on another note, we are finally researching hand controls for our car – YAY!)  Our neighborhoods are very different now than when I grew up.  I really feel that deeply now that I have children, and now that  it is so difficult for me to do the things that I am used to doing.

Getting rid of the swing set is an example of another major shift for me.  The sight of an empty backyard makes me think of  how time has passed and our children have matured so quickly.  It is like time has passed in the blink of an eye, which is what many people have told me would happen.  One result from my having MS is that I have become more concerned about the things that my family members need from me, and more specifically, how to provide them.  I never thought much about this in the past, I just moved forward and handled whatever came up on the fly. 

I am not sure what I am in the midst of experiencing.   I have been reading some very powerful and meaningful books these past few weeks.  I plan to blog about some of the realizations that I have been blessed to have.  This journey has led me to a very different place than I ever expected, and I deeply appreciate you joining me for the ride…..

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