What is it about a creaky,old, swing going back and forth on a breezy spring day that is so relaxing to a child? We’ve been racing to enjoy park time, fearing that winter will suddenly decide to return again. It seems like we can’t leave a park without J wanting to swing and chat. It usually begins with a request for me to help him onto the swing, followed by a wish for us to both count to ten. By ten, I have to push him “really,Really high.” And then it is like he is literally finding his rhythm on the swing. Once he does, our conversation seems step in time.
As he rocks back and forth, he seems to be taking in all the sights and sounds around him. The squeaky swing that needs oil, the boys from Hardy prep racing at lightning speed dressed in their white shirts, ties, and khaki’s. “Hey dad, why do they all have white shirts on?” “Those are uniforms, J.” “Oh, uniforms….whats a uniform?” And depending on where the swing is hanging, one might hear the Sheridan road traffic, Lake Michigan crashing gently against the rocks, or the branches sway. And then, without any apparent reason, he drrraaags his feet on the mulch and says, “come on dad, let’s go to the slide.”