Little Boys on the Swings

It’s a beautiful day, breeze blowing, birds chirping, sun shining.

We’ve packed our lunches into the picnic basket and gone to the playground for a play.  It’s the simple things in life.  I suggested this yesterday, and B3 and B4 have been excitedly talking about it since then.

This playground is one we walk through every day on the walk to and from school.  Once we drop the older boys off, sometimes we stop, sometimes we keep walking, but today we’ve come back to have a play and have lunch. It’s not a long walk, but it’s hilly so for this trip I take the car and pretend that we’re going on a long drive to the park.  I drive around the neighbourhood and eventually end up in this playground.

“Oh, Mum, you’re silly, this is the playground near our home,” says B3.

“Is it?” I jokingly say back.

We get out of the car, as he’s climbing out B3 says “I’m going to carry the picnic basket, Mum”.  I go to get it out of the car, and he’s already running off to the playground yelling “actually, you bring it, Mum”.  B4 follows.

B3 and B4 instantly run for the swings.  “Push me, Mum, push me so high, I want to go as high as the sky” squeals B3, followed by “no, not that high Mum”.

B4 copies “Push me, Mum, push me high”.

There’s laughter.

When B1 was this age we used to go to the playground all the time, he’d also spend his time swinging on the swings laughing and having fun.

Somewhere along the lines though the trips to the playground stopped, it wasn’t so easy to leave the house so we’d stay home.

Lately, though, we’ve visited so many playgrounds.  All the kids love it, including B1 who is now 12.

We eat our lunch and then play some more, the swings are a favourite.  We line up at the slide.  It has a steep ladder but B4, my little climber, scales it with no problems.  After a few climbs though he becomes tired and falls off.  He didn’t hurt himself, but B3 went running back to our picnic rug and grabbed the ice pack from our lunch box to put on B4’s legs.  My heart smiled.

We go back to the swings.

As I stand at the swings pushing B3 and B4 in unison, I know all to well that one day this will be just a memory.  One day I’ll walk through this park with a 12-year-old B4 on the way to school with my other kids being 22, 18 and 14 and I’ll see another exhausted Mum in the park pushing her kids on the swings, and these memories of squeals and laughter will come back to me.

On getting home, it’s nap time.  B4 goes to sleep instantly.  B3 gets ready for his nap, and as I kiss him, he says “Mum, you’re the best Mum in the whole world.”

This moment makes all of the sacrifices so worthwhile.

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