Meet Me At The Swing Set

 

Just in case you didn’t know, I’m a little kid trapped in a grown woman’s body.

I realize you find that hard to believe….

I found myself at yet another soccer practice tonite. Practice is held at the local elementary school. They play in the back behind the school. Normally I wait in the car and fart around with all y’all on my handy dandy Blackberry, while the other 3 kiddos (kiddos means ‘kids’ in Ginger-ese) play in the field nearby. There is a playground on the opposite side of the school from where I sit and wait, so we usually don’t venture over that way because I can’t watch the boy play soccer from there. I like to have all 4 of them in my line of sight.

But tonite was a little different. Goobers, my 11 year old was adamant about there being a driveway next to the playground, on the other side of the building, which would enable me to park by it AND see the soccer field.

“MOM! Trust me, it’s over there”!

“Well, I can’t see the drive way from here, but I do see  cars over there”.

“MOM! Will you just drive OVER THERE so I can SHOW YOU”?

“OK, fine, you don’t have to yell at me”.

“If you would just LISTEN TO ME, you will see what I am talking about”.

Oh! She was right. A well hidden driveway that took me to both the playground and the soccer field. It was a win-win situation. I could sit in the car and have some peace and they could play on the Monkey Bars within the parameters of my watchful eye…

Heaven.

So I’m having my usual ménage à trois with Twitter, WordPress and Facebook when, all of a sudden, the 12-year-old girl in me gave me a big proverbial kick in the leg…

 

She wanted to play…

 

No, not just play, she wanted to SWING

 

That large and un-occupied swingset looked very lonely, just like she felt lonely.

She wanted to fly.

She wanted to feel free.

She wanted to feel giddy and giggly.

She wanted to feel happy.

She wanted to forget about her grown up responsibilities. She wanted to forget about how she yelled at her kids 1 hour earlier, forget about un-finished homework, forget about the war zone mess in her house and the baths she would force her children to take when they got home later. She wanted to forget about everything that was giving her grown up self a kick in the gut and a sharp stabbing to her soul…

 

It was time for Ginger to get out of that fucking car…

 

Most swing sets at an elementary school are not equipped with *ahem* wide enough swings to support a not so skinny woman. But these swings were. It was a match made in deliciously deep derriere heaven.

There was only one rule she was to abide by- she was only allowed to go swing if she agreed to leave her phone in the car. In 1986, 12-year-old girls didn’t have cell phones. You cannot pretend to be 12 if you have a BlackBerry in your hand. So off she went, sans 2012 cellular device. Freedom was hers to be had…

Her kids were on the slides and monkey bars, so she had the entire God-blessed swing set to herself. She felt a little bit funny at first because there certainly weren’t any other adults falling over themselves to get to the swings. Pity.

She chose the swing on the end and decided to face East so the sun wasn’t in her already-shiny-enough face.She got herself situated and so began the climb…

You ever notice the position of your hands on the chains when you first begin to push off? The higher you place your hands on the chain, the higher you will make yourself go. The hand placement seems directly related to the amount of momentum you will exert. Her hands were just at the top of her head. She was ready to fly…

Then came the familiar chant from long ago: “You have to go high enough so your head goes above the support bar”…

So she did. She felt the sensation of her stomach dropping out of her. She was in complete puppy love with that feeling…

The school building was behind her and blocked her shadow until she was high enough for the sun to pick her up out of the grey. And suddenly, as she reached her goal of ascent and was above the line of the school building wall, the sun grabbed her and she noticed the shadow of a giggly, and damn near giddy 12 year old, whose hair was blowing freely in the wind. Her shadow remembered the happiness that was found up there….  Can you feel it too?

She then dared herself to get vertical. “Go on, do it”. Remember vertical? That’s when your feet go straight up in the air and you lean backwards so your head is damn near touching the ground and you are, for a brief moment, completely upside down, looking at the school building behind you. “Hold on tight, and don’t let the dizziness scare you” she said. She did that 10, maybe 12 times in a row. Vertical indeed…

As she was flying full speed, she decided it was time to coast for a bit…. Time to float and let the natural momentum die down… Time to rest…. She let go and wrapped her elbows around the chain near her waist as her hands gently rested in her lap. Her ankles were crossed, one over the other underneath her and, for the time being, not doing any work…

Coasting…

Looking at the pasture in front of her and the interesting Emu’s pecking at the grass, watching the white and overly fluffed clouds above her, noticing also a few curious looks from other adults who obviously left their inner 12-year-old at home. Sigh. “I wish they would come play with me” she thought. “We could talk about the boys we have crushes on and which guy from U2 is the cutest and trade Swatch Watch bands”. They couldn’t hear her though, they didn’t speak 12-year-old anymore. Pity.

She realized she had been in this seductive swing cycle of ‘push off, vertical challenge, and coast’ for at least 45 minutes. She was mesmerized by her calmness and tranquility….

Her hands were orange from the rusty old chain. They were already a little bit swollen too. She decided she absolutely loves orange and swollen hands…” all 12-year-old girls do” she muses out loud.

She wondered, for a nano second, if the sky had turned a more brilliant blue while she was swinging, or maybe it seemed that way because of the sun picking her up out of the grey, and made her able to see the blue more clearly…

 

” Hey Mom? Mommy? MOM!”  

She was jolted back into reality…

“Practice is over, so can we go home now and watch American Idol?”

“Don’t you want to stay a few more minutes and play on the playground?”

“No, we wanna watch American Idol- can we please go now?”

“Sure that’s fine, let’s go home.”

Pity.

 

Ginger climbed back into the car and so left her 12-year-old self behind. But you know what? There is another soccer practice on Friday nite at a different field.

That field has a Merry-Go-Round.

Merry-Go-Rounds are perfect for 12-year-old girls…