Nathan is now officially a swing-rider.

This may not seem like a big deal, and in a way it isn’t. I mean, he’s a kid, right? Kids figure out swings. End of story.

But Nathan has never liked swings. I tried to put him in baby swings, the kind with the enclosed seat, a few times when he was young. Nothing doing! When I was pregnant with Ryan we did a little swinging at the nearby park with him in my lap. But that was tricky, with a toddler who doesn’t entirely understand the concept of balance, and my lap smaller than normal anyway. The only other time I’ve seen him on a swing was just after Ryan was born. We went to the park as a family, and Dave tried to coax Nathan onto a swing. N was fine with that as long as he was holding onto his father — by which I mean, as long as he had both arms and legs wrapped tightly around his father while Dave swung. But by himself? Not interested.

We snatched a few hours of sunlight recently to go out for a walk, though, and he saw some kids swinging in the park. In retrospect, he probably hasn’t often seen other kids swinging. Our nearby park is small and not very populated.

I was so enmeshed in my assumptions that it took several times of him saying “Wing-wing!” while we watched them, and me replying “Yes, they’re swinging, aren’t they?” before it dawned on me to ask, “Do you want to swing?”

Yes, he most certainly did.

And this is the part that has me beaming out pride.

I helped him up on the swing, gave him a few gentle pushes, with him talking excitedly the whole time. And then he slid off, sprawling in wet bark chips.

He looked up at me and cried. Stood up, still crying. And through his tears said “Wing-wing!”

He’s the boss. I put him right back on, and he stopped crying.

We did it six times. At least three of those involved his body hitting the bark chips. He had a couple of really good dismounts, though. And we only stopped when I called a halt because it was getting dark, and I needed to start dinner. And also I really, desperately needed to come home and brag about our son to his father.


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