How High They Can Go
A Singapore mother watches her son have his first go at a swing with relish – and some regret.
There’s a swing set just next to the void deck of my house, the old-fashioned sort with a wooden plank and metal chains. My son Tru has been walking past it for over a year without knowing what it was, so he never bugged us to let him have a go. Then, he saw some kids having the time of their lives on the swing and he was like the guy who discovered fire while playing with some rocks in a OMG that’s what it’s for?!! kind of way.
Understandably, we’ve been spending a bit of time there since.
Ups-a-daisy: My son takes a swing
The first time he tried, I could see his irrational-fear mechanism kicking in. He gripped the chains till his knuckles turned white and he was trying real hard not to chicken out like a little baby. He was all “Think of the other kids they had so much fun but I’m going to fall off and die alright, BREATHE just breathe and hold tight, I’m not going to be a baby I CAN DO THIS COME ON!”
I was ready to carry him off and tell him it was OK, we could try it when he was a little older but he finally decided to man up and bite the bullet. So I watched on like a proud momma as he took his first ride on the swing.
Actually, I was more worried than he was, because I once saw my friend fly off the swing as his hand slipped while trying to perform a stunt of the kids-don’t-try-this-at-home variety. He had a scab the size of Africa for a couple of weeks and I had to block out the image from my head for a lot longer than that. Granted, his little stunt did achieve legendary status on the playground back then, but I’m sure his mom wasn’t pleased about it at all.
We gave him a little push and off he went. A minute in, he stopped being afraid and started having fun. Which was right about the time he started giggling and yelling for us to push him harder so he could fly higher.
In between giggles and victory whoops, he looked at me like look mom, I DID IT I’m a big boy now, and I cheered like he just won the Gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games.
Every time I see him conquer a fear, I feel like he’s grown up a little bit more, and I know I’m supposed to be happy for him and all, but sometimes I feel like my baby is slipping away and I wish he’ll stay my baby forever.
Also, I’m just not prepared to have him come home with a large bruise and a broken arm after attempting a death-defying stunt at the playground.
This post was originally published on Mother, INC in August 2010.