Lessons From The Swing

Reposting this gem from 2010, because I needed to remind myself today that this crazy season of life will pass. And do you know what? WE WILL MISS IT. Let’s make the most of it!

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The one piece of baby equipment I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with is the baby swing. I LOVE it because all three of my kids adored it. Katy (my firstborn) was so tiny that she used it until she was practically one-year-old. I even slept her in it when we came home from the hospital because she’d sleep for an extra hour if she was in the swing (yeah, yeah–I know. You’re not supposed to do that). Now, the thing I HATE about the swing is how huge it is. It takes up way too much real estate in our urban house in Chicago. We are always finding new places for the swing because it’s ALWAYS. IN. THE. WAY.

At the end of my pregnancy with Jack (my third child), I dreaded pulling out the swing and remember thinking, “Less than a year and I won’t need this huge piece of equipment taking up prime real estate in my kitchen, bedroom, living room . . .”

A few months ago, a woman who works with my sister called because she was expecting her first baby right around the time Jack would be 6-months-old.  She wondered if she could buy any of my infant equipment. Immediately I blurted out, “You may buy the swing!” She said she’d call me a week or so before her due date.

Hurray!!! After more than 5 years, I was finally getting rid of the blasted swing!

. . . And then she called. And I started crying. Yes, CRYING over the ugly, used, gigantic baby swing. This is the lesson that hideous swing taught me: Every milestone closes the door on that parenting experience. And it’s hard to say good-bye. I have never been one of those moms who wants to freeze her child at one particular stage.  (see: http://cobwebbyhours.com/2015/05/08/freezing-time/)  When my kids have outgrown a diaper size, started to crawl, or learned how to pronounce their words correctly (you know, “animal” verses “aminal”), I’ve been excited, rather than sad. Yet, with my youngest, it’s different. The chapters are completely CLOSING. Unless some crazy unforeseen (side note: scientifically miraculous) life event occurs, we won’t need another baby swing in this house. Believe it or not, I really do miss that swing.  I took about 5 pictures of it before the cute little pregnant woman came to pick it up.  My husband thought I was C-R-A-Z-Y.

Saying good-bye to the swing has reminded me (again) that these days are sooooo fast.  Too fast. And precious. My hope is that I could approach each day with the lesson the baby swing has taught me: Even the stuff I think I hate about parenting, I realize I’ve loved when it’s over.

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