Today we sold the huge playset in our back yard. We have had it for 15 years. It has swings, a trapeze, monkey bars, a slide, a sandbox, and a fort. We have been complaining about it for years because it was taking up space in our yard. Our youngest child is now 16 and no one has used it consistently since I can remember. And yet, we have held off from selling it….until now. Why? Were we waiting for grandkids someday? Did we think that we were suddenly going to get the urge to swing non stop? We finally listed it on Facebook and it was gone within 24 hours. Just the thought of it sent my 16 year old running to the swings and swinging as if her life depended on it, telling us how much she will miss it and how we will be depriving future grandchildren of its pleasures.
Suddenly we were all waxing poetic about the first time we bought it at the Monroe County Fair and reminiscing about the day we set it up. Why was it suddenly so important? Now that I think about it, it was important for so many reasons. It is the last remnant of our old house that we brought with us to this one. It is one of the last ties to a former life when the kids were little and innocent. That swing set was the setting for multiple milestones and countless important private conversations. It held our metaphorical as well as physical highs and lows, just like the swings that hung there. It listened quietly to devastating news and terrific recounts of joy with no judgement, offering comfort in the swings, lifting us to the heavens either to celebrate or to work through grief. It was a staple in our lives for years. It won’t be leaving for another few days yet. Maybe we’ll just make some time for a little more swinging.