This Used to be My Swing Set

The swing set was always my favorite part of the playground. As a clumsy child that didn’t have much talent for walking, running, swimming, etc. the swing set was a chance to fly through space like I owned it. So I am understandably distressed when a swing set disappears from a park.

The articles I’ve read about the topic (yes – that’s how much I love swings) say that the long-established swing set is now too dangerous for modern children, and so is being phased out of playgrounds. I don’t know much about children except that I used to be one, but that seems like a bit much to me.

On a recent black forest kolatchy picnic to the park where I spent many a summer day a child I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the swing set still there, the rest of the wood and iron playground was still intact as well. Guess Bayport, MN hasn’t gotten the memo about the code orange alert regarding the risk of old-fashioned playgrounds.

It was much harder than it used to be to climb around the varying levels of playground platforms, and I didn’t even attempt the slides, afraid that my bum might get caught halfway down. I settled for taking a few photos of this no doubt soon to be demolished relic of my childhood.

As I was taking a photo of the monkey bars a little blonde girl with glasses came swinging over. “No offense,” she said to me “But you’re kind of creeping me out”. I thought about it for a moment and had to agree with her; a 20-something obviously not local woman wearing giant sun glasses taking pictures of strangers’ kids (albeit inadvertently) does have a creep factor.

I told her that she was a very smart girl and that if any other strangers tried to take pictures of her she should tell them that exact same thing. She looked at me like I was nuts. Here was a stranger telling her not to trust strangers?

Retreating to the swing set I pumped my legs as hard as I could until I felt somewhat like a little girl that could almost fly. Once the swing was in full gear I tilted my head back to gaze at the sky just as a bald eagle with a fish in its mouth swooped overhead.



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