and then we were swinging: for the very first time.
Going to the park is something I usually avoid, for obvious reasons. There is not much for us to do there. And although I am overcoming the stabbing pains in my heart, when I see children younger than Florence, running through the wood chips, climbing on slides and flying through the air on a swing, it still makes me sad for her. I want to protect her from seeing other children do things she can’t do. But then I remind myself, this happens all the time. I guess playgrounds strike a cord with lots of parents that have children with illnesses or disabilities. Everything just feels wrong in the world when your sweet child can’t…play.
But the other day, we were at the park with friends and their little ones, and I was happy to be there. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a brown swing, round and wide, and flat. I beelined for the swing, hands clenched to the stroller tight. Come on, come on, please love it, I thought, as I placed blankets on the plastic, and took Florence out of the stroller. She fussed for a moment, scared and unsure. But I pushed her. I pushed her right away, and she felt the wind rip through her curls, saw the sun peeking through the red leafed trees, and then there was a tug on her lips, a smile. Her small friend joined her, calm and peaceful, and they watched the world blur.
I went back the very next day, emotions running high. I was excited, so excited for her to experience it again. And as soon as she lay there, felt the swaying motion, she smiled big. She giggled, and opened her mouth wide to receive the gift of that day. I struggled to keep myself composed. She was swinging. On this very day, there were a thousand gifts to count, too many to catch. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.