and then we were swinging: for the very first time.

October 17, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 28 Comments

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.

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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.

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28 Comments

  • Reply veronica reguera October 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    …….. few things are so beautiful and simple as swinging our children
    smiles and giggles and the wind … and the whole world in our eyes
    I feel soooooo happy for you two, mama and baby just happy and together
    Love 🙂

  • Reply child of God October 18, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Nice!!! It’s so wonderful you found a swing Florence can really enjoy. 🙂 What a blessing!

  • Reply NATHAN Grills October 18, 2013 at 4:59 AM

    Hi Michaela, Beautiful! I am sure that Adam would like these swings as would Elliot. It is a classic case of the inclusion benefiting all. My 1 year old loves this swing just as much as Abby (his beautiful 3yo sister who has a severe disability). Michaela, is there a way I can send a photo of Abby on the same type of swing?

    • Reply Michaela. October 18, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      Hi Nathan, you can include a photo of Abby on the swing on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/michaelaevanowblog
      Just add it in the comments of the post that links to this story! Does that make sense? 🙂 then everyone can see it!

  • Reply jessica paulraj October 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    ok i LOVE this. swings have been HUGE for adam as well

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Yeah Adam! Wouldn’t it be a dream if they could swing together one day? My heart would burst.

  • Reply Rachel October 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I could never play on a play ground when I was little but if I went on the swing I just felt sick but for some reason when I was on my swings at my house when I was younger I was fine. Even to this day I don’t like swings. I sure would love to try the one Flo was on to see how it would make me feel.

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      Sounds like a great idea Rachel!

  • Reply Kali October 17, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Joy! So happy for you both. There’s nothing like watching your child delight….

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      There is truly nothing like it. Heart warming to fire bursting love!

  • Reply Maggie Cole October 17, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    The perfect swing for the perfect girl! I love seeing her enjoying Autumn’s beautiful weather. Sweet Florence.

  • Reply Renee Heinrich October 17, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Ah! I love this. It warms my heart to see Florence out enjoying the best season of all, and swinging!

    Also, I watched The Sounds of Mumbai documentary the other night…it was great! Made me miss India and our community there. Thanks for sharing about that one. I’d love to see the other movie you posted about a couple weeks ago, let me know if you need company 🙂

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      I will! And yes, the Sound of Mumbai is
      Fabulous isn’t it?!

  • Reply Janet Abele October 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Michaela, Reading your posts, takes me back to when my daughter was young, she is now 32 yrs old. and still here to demand her favorite foods , music, movie on tv and a long ride in the car with the window down, and the breeze blowing on her. She was born with Rubella syndrome. Blind since Birth, brain damaged,with microcephaly, Hypotonia, and hearing impaired, Non-verbal. Unable to able learn sign language, so uses gestures and behaviors to communicate. Life has not been an easy road, But NEVER would I switch it with anyone. She is my Princess. And I praise God for everyday that I have her. She also suffers with Gran Mal seizures. She is my HERO.

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Wow, Janet, thank you for sharing a part of your story. You sound like a wonderful mama to your gem!

      • Reply Janet Abele October 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        And you also, I love reading and seeing your pics. You and your sweet daughter are an inspiration. She is a teacher…Teaching the world…..

  • Reply Sophie October 17, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    It’s like the Lord had placed that swing just for Florence!!!
    Joy is overflowing right now!!
    (I have never seen a swing like that… not in Quebec)

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      I have seen these swings before but not near us! And to be honest, never thought about checking parks for unique equipment. The newer ones can be fairly accommodating. Still holding out for a special needs park though!

  • Reply Amie Webster October 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    This one left me teary as well. Thankful for the ray of sunshine for you both.

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Amie, it’s pretty emotional! Amazing how such a simple thing could brighten our day(s) so much!

  • Reply telsey October 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    omgosh, my eyes flooded with tears looking at these pictures. So happy for her and YOU! Enjoy swinging Florence!!

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Aww thanks Telsey. It’s very special for us all to have this and so close to home!

  • Reply CarrieAnne October 17, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Out of all your posts, Michaela, this one is my favorite. I love that your heart got to soar as Florence experienced her first swing. The pictures are beautiful. I pray you can hold on to this precious moment for when times are hard and I hope that you two can enjoy the park many more times before the snow falls.

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Yes me too! In our case it’s before the rain falls! Wish we had discovered it sooner. But that’s ok. We are feeling more adventurous now.

  • Reply Falen October 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    What a beautiful post! Your pictures capture the moments so beautifully. The one of the two of you lifts my spirits. You are so joyful holding your sweet daughter.

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Thank you. I was pretty ecstatic!

  • Reply TamaraG October 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Wonderful! Yay! What a great first experience! Aren’t those the best swings?

    • Reply Michaela. October 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      They are the best swings, the very best 🙂

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