Did you have a swing set when you were young? What do you remember most about your swings?
When someone tells me they are looking at swing sets for their children, one thing pops instantly into my mind. My Dad.
As a young child my father was my idol. My Dad could fix anything, he could do everything; he was larger than life. My Dad took me camping and taught me how to fish, he took me to the ocean and taught me how to body surf and he took me on walks and taught me to enjoy nature. When I got hurt, my Dad comforted me.
What I actually remember most was going to look for swing sets with my father. We picked one out and took it home – in a box. I was so excited; I couldn’t wait to use my swing! My Dad worked on that swing set the rest of that day and half the next day – with me there ‘Is it done yet?’ ‘When will it be done?’ Through all of that, my father never lost his temper or sent me away.
He finally got the swing set together and I got to swing on it. My Dad would go out with me every evening after work, and push me on my swing. That’s what I remember.
Around the time I turned 15, my Dad turned totally stupid – didn’t know anything and couldn’t do anything; He stayed that way for several years. Then I got married and had my own daughter. It was a miracle – my Dad returned to Hero status.
The real truth is that I got my head on straight. After the birth of my daughter I realized that my father had never once even come close to falling off that pedestal I had put him on when I was a child.
As my daughter was growing up, I watched my Dad take her to the park to feed the ducks, and push her on the swings. I watched my Dad take her into the garage so they could paint the toy box they made together.
Fathers, if you are looking at swing sets for your son or daughter, make sure you push them when it’s done. And NEVER, EVER forget who you are to your children. You are their Hero.