Every Tuesday morning my daughters and I pile into the car and head off to town. While Charlotte and Sophie have their piano lessons, Gemma-Rose and I have a mission to accomplish. Can we do all our shopping, and then drive back to the music teacher’s house, before the older girls reappear? It’s always a race.
Last Tuesday we must have run up and down the supermarket aisles much quicker than normal because, before we knew it, we were back at the car, stowing our shopping in the car boot, with minutes to spare.
“It’s a pity you’re not little anymore,” I said to Gemma-Rose. “We could have stopped off at the park for a few minutes on the way back. You could have swung on the swings.”
“Nobody gets too old for the swings, Mum,” Gemma-Rose smiled. “Even Imogen likes to swing and she’s twenty!”
“So you want to go to the park?”
My eleven year old daughter nodded her head.
Soon we were at the park. Gemma-Rose hoisted herself onto the swing, thrust her legs backwards and forwards, and swung towards the sky. As I watched her, my heart yearned for years gone by when I regularly stopped at the park with my troop of young children. “Push me higher, Mum!” little people would urge. “Catch me, Mum!” they’d cry as they slid down the slippery dip. “Watch me, Mum! I can climb high!” Yes, I miss those days when a simple trip to the park was pure delight for everyone.
“Do you want a go, Mum?” Gemma-Rose called, as she put down her feet and brought the swing to a halt.
Me? On the swings? "Why not!"
“Do you need a push, Mum?”
“No, I remember what to do!”
Soon I was swinging higher and higher. I began to feel like Auntie Jenny.
Auntie Jenny is a lot of fun. She doesn’t just push the swing. She sits on the swing and has a go herself. The children watch as she swings higher and higher. “Will she swing right over the top in a circle?” Lizzie wonders.
Would I swing over the top too? I began to feel just a little bit dizzy, as the ground rushed up to meet me and then raced away again. I wondered why the council hasn’t banned swings. Surely swings aren’t safe? What if a mother fell off?
“What if I fall off?” I shouted.
“Just hold on tight, Mum!”
So that’s what I did. I held on tight.
I held on tight to the swing. I held on tight to the moment. I savoured it completely, before it disappeared forever.
“Not many mums swing on the swings,” observed Gemma-Rose, as we left the park.
I don't suppose they do. But they should.
|The Angels of Abbey Creek|
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