There’s definitely something special about swings that let them earn their position as a childhood staple. I’ve written before about how much both my girls love playing on the swings and none of their enthusiasm has faded with the passing of time. Kitty’s in that sort of in between stage where she hasn’t quite figured out how to propel herself on the big girl swings, or how to be confident that she won’t fall off, and on the baby swings she’s tall enough that she can scrape her toes along the ground as she whistles through, which I’m horribly afraid is going to catapult her out of her seat one of these days, but Elma, ah Elma and swings. Elma loves swings. Possible more than Elma loves Daddy, Upsy Daisy and monkeys, and that’s saying something.
If her parents’ arms would hold out she would spend an entire play session swinging back and forth, only occasionally pausing with a frown; “No!! Fast!!” if we dare to ease off for a moment.
And so in a moment of truly glorious and beautifully unexpected late autumn sunshine it seemed only appropriate to try to capture my Elma in flight. And to try to make it a little bit different from the hundreds of other pictures that I have of Elma in the swing, from the plumpshious baby of last year’s summer, to the little girl in head to toe waterproofs earlier this spring, I wanted to play around a little with the photography, to preserve and remember a little snippet of a day that October stole from August, and the golden sunshine and the warmth that we will not see again for several months.
I’d forgotten just how hard it can be, trying to keep Elma swinging, and be close enough to keep pushing her while also tracking a rapidly swinging little girl to try to get even some of her in focus. I’ve got what seems like a gazillion photos of bits of swing flying blurrily across the screen, but in these I hope I’ve captured the essence of Elma’s joy in swinging,
And it’s lovely to see her take such pleasure in something that is so very simple; to love being out in the fresh air, to have the memory of feeling so free and so weightless that you could just reach up and pull down a cloud.
It’s a feeling that never really leave you. Go on, close your eyes, think back to when you were little, and then tell me you never wondered whether you could get the swing high enough to loop the loop.
I may or may not occasionally be found perched up on the big circle swing with at least one of my babies tucked up in the crook of my arm as we gaze up at marshmallow puffs of clouds rippling out across a sky bathed in gold, and it’s my childhood memories that have me climbing in so happily – though for the record, if anyone’s looking I’m just being a devoted mother and making sure the children are enjoying themselves!
Well that and it gives my arms a break!