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Other parents I know are so terrified of their kids wandering off in a busy public place that they keep them close with those little kids leashes. I know some who are so scared at the possibility of choking that they continue to cut up their kids grapes into tiny pieces well into their middle school years. And still others are so frightened by the mere possibility of their kids being exposed to germs that they basically wrap their kids in plastic wrap and douse them in hand sanitizer for the duration of the school year.

I don’t judge.

I don’t judge the leashes or the grapes or the plastic wrap because I get it.

I have my own (somewhat) irrational fear.

This is mine.

You see fun...I see terror.

You see fun…I see danger.

I know it’s ridiculous. I know it’s right up there with leashes and cut-up grapes and plastic wrap, but I just can’t help it.

I remember loving the swings as a kid. I remember the amazing sense of freedom that came with pumping my legs as hard as they could go, higher and higher until I felt like I could touch the sky. I remember closing my eyes and feeling my hair floating around my head at the exact moment I hung suspended between forward swing and backward. Being on the swing was the closest I ever came to flying. In a word, the swings were bliss.

Now, years later, I am a parent and I have a much different perspective.

Now I wonder who decided that strapping a slippery piece of flexible rubber between two metal chains was a good idea? Seriously, how could this not end badly? I made my son sit in the baby swing until he was five. It would have probably been longer but he got stuck one time and I almost couldn’t get him out.

If it were up to me, every swing would be a baby swing. I mean seriously, they made us put a seat belt on our Bumbo chairs for “safety” reasons but suggesting they put a restraining device on something that helps your kid fly through the air? Apparently that moves me from the category of “diligent” to “crazy.”

So my kids have learned. When they go to the park with Daddy he does “under-ducks” and pushes them as high as they want. He laughs as they laugh and lets them swing as long as they want.

However, they know when they go to the park with Mommy she will encourage you to play on anything BUT the swings. If you do manage to get on one, she won’t push you more than three times. She will say that’s “high enough.” Then she will go sit on the bench and stare at you with the frowny face until you finally give up and go play on the slide.

I hate that this very simple thing freaks me out and I know it doesn’t make any sense. A swing is no more dangerous than a bike or a car, or walking from here to there for that matter, but I can’t seem to get over it. Apparently this is just my thing.

Realistically I keep telling myself that in the big scheme of things it probably won’t leave them too traumatized.

I mean it’s not like I’m afraid of ice cream.

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