Yesterday, I went to a 70th birthday party for my mother's cousin. Her home has the most wonderful tree swing and I used to play on it all the time as a child. Tyler and I left the party to find the tree swing, a little wooden plank held up with bright orange chains. I went on it with my little cousin, Nicole, laughing in the background and Tyler pointing out how high I was going. Nicole bragged, as I might have at her age, that she could swing so high she could touch the pole of the tent where the party was held with her little foot.
A few minutes later a little girl I didn't know came to join us with Nicole's brother, Robbie. I quickly left the swing and watched as Robbie pushed the girl so high that she, too, bragged excitedly about her ability to touch the pole with her feet. It reminded me of my school recess competitions, trying to touch the tree leaves. Meanwhile, we had discovered an ugly cicada crawling on the bark of the tree and Robbie, now distracted from the swingset, was daring us to grab the bug and squeeze its guts.
The little girl's mother came out shortly to reprimand the girl for swinging so high, and soon after, Robbie and Nicole's mother came out to scold Robbie for being the one to push her on the swing. She was too little, of course, to go so high up. Then she saw Tyler and I marvelling over the ugly cicada with Nicole. She said, "Oh, I didn't realize there were some adults out here watching. You didn't see how high she was going?"
I did of course. So high she could touch the pole.
Later, Tyler and I discussed what awful 'adults' we were for not realizing the appropriate height for swinging. We joked that if children were left in our care they would end up on the roof of the house. Well, they wanted to go up there and we thought, why not?
I guess I just don't always see the danger of swinging so high.
Photo Credit: chikache