The Swing Set

The other day I took my kids on a walk to the playground. It was nice outside, a bit overcast with a gentle breeze. There weren’t many cars around so it made for a quieter walk. We walked along the small river that is there and saw turtles along the bank and heard squirrels chasing each other in the trees. My kids weaved in and out of the trees and sprinted up and down the sidewalk while making up game after game.

Once we got to the playground, we found it empty of other children. I was a bit disappointed but my kids were not. Next to our playground is the pond with a fountain in it. They sat next to the water’s edge and observed the flock of geese that were treading the water in front of them. This made the kids speak in lower tones than their previous excited shouts and bellows from our walk.

When they remembered the swing set, they ran at top speed yelling at me to hurry up so I can do underdog and push them. (That’s where you pull them all the way back and push them hard on the swing while running under them before you get kicked in the face. This term was unfamiliar to me until my husband taught it to me, he is the oldest of 7 and knows a thing or two about playground games) After about 20 minutes of underdog, pushing, jumping and tricks they got off and explored other parts of the playground. My littlest one was still enjoying herself in the baby swing so I sat in the one next to her.

I swayed back  and forth while looking at her and she just laughed at me. So I started using my feet to go higher and as I went higher, her laughs got louder! Eventually I took my eyes off her to look at the sky. It had been so long since I swung on a swing set. And I mean really swing. Pumping my feet so hard so I can get to the clouds, just like I used to as a kid. I watched my feet go over the tops of trees and the next second I was facing down at the ground horizontally. With the wind encircling me and my stomach bouncing up and down with every direction I went, I lost myself in the moment with just the faint noises of laughter and play from my kids. I let things go. I breathed in deep breaths and let out slow long ones. I let my thoughts just be and I remembered, for that time, what it’s like to not care. As a person, it’s not easy to let go of emotions and situations in your life. But I did then. It lasted about 3  minutes before one of  my offspring realized what mommy was doing and darted her way to me to swing with me.

To capture that moment in a drawing is not easy, but I did do it. I really want to not only show the emotion in the drawing, but inspire you to go out and find a way to forget things for just a few minutes and just be.


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Illustrator and comic artist sharing art travels and story updates!

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