2.25.2009

Swing Therapy

When I was little I loved to swing.  I think I could have done it for hours, and perhaps a time or two I did.  I loved the feel of the breeze as it would whip my hair, first back away from my face and then suddenly covering my eyes as the swing fell back.  I remember it was always a challenge to see how high I could go.  Pumping and pumping the swing until it seemed to drop out from under me and the chains would snap.  Often, on while I was swinging I would sing.  I'll admit I have never been a great or even good singer, but it never stopped me.  (pity the neighbor who had to listen.)  I am not sure what it was that attracted me to the swing.  Perhaps the freedom I felt while I was out, often alone on the swing-set.  Perhaps it was as simple as the rhythmic motion that calmed my soul.  Whatever, I found comfort and solace in that simple action.  My daughter, it seems has also found something in it that calls to her.  Today after a particularly hard day there were many tears.  I'll admit that often we have tears after school.  I think for her it is a final release of all that she has dealt with through out her day.  While I know it is necessary, it is often frustrating to be on the receiving end and not be able to help.  Anything can set the crying jag off, but today it was spelling.  After what seemed like minutes of endless crying I was struck with inspiration.  I suggested she go out and swing.  So off we went into the back yard to swing together.  I remember the feeling, the enjoyment and the freedom.  I was shocked that I could not bring it all back.  The only thing I felt was nauseous.  After minutes of quiet swinging Emma began to calm down and then she began to talk.  Our swings groan and creak, as I suppose all good swings do.  Yet, through the eyes of my seven year old the swing was talking to her.  At first it said, "GO HIGHER!"  With each pump of her legs I could begin to hear what she heard.  As she stopped pumping the creaking changed and Emma said the swings were sad.  When I asked why she said, "They don't want to leave Texas."  The swings were groaning, "Don't go" and indeed they seemed to be.  After minutes of silence as her swing slowed down, Emma began to open up to me about the day she had had and how sad it was making her that we were moving.  We talked and she cried some more, but not tears of anguish just cleansing tears.  Almost as suddenly as she started, she stopped.  Then she danced off to finish her homework, soothed by the simple act of swinging.
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