Monday, April 4, 2016

Saying Goodbye to the Swingset #momlife #parenting

Last March, Cape Cod was literally buried under mounds of snow...about 80 inches total after several back-to-back blizzards.  This year, we had very little snow and a sudden warm snap that had everyone outside in shorts doing yard work.  And as we marked out the space for the fire pit we're going to build, my heart ached for what had occupied the space until last fall--the swingset.

The old swingset! Also our crazy
lab mix Mickey and my sister.
When I was growing up, a rusty metal swingset adorned our backyard, complete with poles that nearly came out of the ground when we pumped the swings with enough force. It was about as safe as it sounds--I broke my ankle playing on it, and my sister somehow ended up needing stitches in her face after an unfortunate spill on the slide.  Thankfully, we survived our childhood, and memories of that rickety contraption still come up at family events.

I snapped one last pic before
we began taking it apart...
The wooden swingset we were able to purchase for our boys was much sturdier, and the covered tower served as a treehouse and a base for countless games. The rope ladder gave them something better than my furniture to climb, and the swings changed from infant bucket seats to the real thing over the years.

But as the kids grew, it eventually became mostly the domain of our cats, who would lounge under the shade of the wooden roof in the summer or perch on the top beams to view their kingdom.  When my sister came to visit, her younger kids would enjoy playing on it, but for the most part, it went unused.  And that made me sad, both for the time that had passed and the fact that it still had plenty of life left in it for other children.

My teenage boys weren't thrilled about having something so "babyish" in the yard, either...when the soccer teams come over for Pasta Night, they need room to scrimmage each other (we even built a soccer goal - see this post for how-to).  And then we kept hearing about how the other kids had fire pits in their yards, for roasting marshmallows to make s'mores after dinner.

So it was time to say goodbye to the dependable old swingset.  I offered it up on FreeCycle, and a family with young children responded to the post.  They were delighted to have it, and I'm glad it's getting more use.  But the empty spot in the yard still creates a corresponding little hole in my heart. Time continues to march on, however, and I'm looking forward to creating new memories with friends and family around a crackling fire on warm summer nights.

The spot where the swingset used to reside...I miss it.

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