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Laura Andrews '10 | January 13, 2019

“Higher, mama!”

My daughter’s shrieks punctuated the heavy afternoon summer air.

“Higherrrrrrrrrrrr!”

I heaved my entire weight into the next push. Her tiny two-year-old body catapulted into a graceful ark in the swing. My success was affirmed with gleeful squeals.

“Okay, now it’s your turn,” she proclaimed once back on land.

Wanting to prove myself adventurous and not wanting to risk the rigmarole of disagreeing with a toddler, I slowly plunked myself into the swing and began pumping. It had been years since I had graced the rubber saddle, and I could tell. Instead of the slight “tummy woo” that I relished in my younger years, I was met instead with an overwhelming nausea. I gritted my teeth and tried to smile through the unpleasant falling sensation.

Steeling myself to a stop before my insides came out, I stopped to look around at the park. Nothing had changed in the past 20 years. There were the large wooden seesaws, the merry-go-round, and the “tornado slide” nestled under the shade of a large oak tree. The gravel crept its way into the small crevices of my sandals, and I thought back to the many long afternoons of summer spent in this space, of scrambling up the steep slide steps, and of the many games of hide and seek played with my cousins under the sole supervision of the steadily beating sun. For me then, as for my daughter now, the park was a novelty, a place for escape, adventure, and imagination. We only came to the park near our family’s lake house once a year, and each time we looked forward to the “special” park down the road. While the aunts and uncles played cards and lounged on the docks, we were construction workers digging to China, storm chasers tracking down a tornado, birds soaring to the heavens. The park was our world and the world was our park.

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine