Swing and a Miss Afraid of Wind Chimes for the Rest of Her Life
Finally taking part in Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompt: Childhood fears you’ve taken into your adult life.
When I was six, my little sister and I went across the street to play at the local playground. We lived in a very small, very neighborly lake community, and my mom could see us from the kitchen window. I was in charge.
We decided to play on the swings. My adventurous little sis decided to “twist,” where you lay on your stomach on the swing seat, and turn and turn and turn until the chains are all twisted up as tight as you can make them, and then you let go and spinspinspinspinspin. It was fun, and cautious child though I was, I had even done it myself from time to time. But my sister decided to take a running start before she let go, so not only was she spinspinspinspinspinning, but she was also wobbling wildly to and fro. I saw what was about to happen a split second before it did. Too late to do anything about it. She SLAMMED head first into one of the tall metal poles supporting the swings. She fell out of the swing, limp. Dead. I was responsible and I let my little sister die!!
Haha, no, she was fine, but that’s a little six-year-old panic for you. I apologize for making you gasp and clutch your pearls, but it was necessary for the point of this story, which we’re getting to, I promise! She ended up with stitches and a valuable lesson in swing twisting. I ended up with a lifelong fear of uncontrolled moving objects that my loved ones make fun of me for all the time.
Swings are out. I can’t even look at stationary swings. Future husband will be forced to accompany all future children to the park. That’s an obvious one, but then they start getting funny. Those giant swing rides at amusement parks and carnivals are also out. Construction sites with wrecking balls or anything dangly makes me very nervous. Wind chimes make me want to puke, not in a disgusted way but in a very sincere, I think I might be sick way. And here’s the best one: I can’t put groceries in the trunk. The very thought of a bag tipping over and sending produce and cans rolling around the trunk gives me an anxiety attack. Because an apple and a pear might bang heads and hurt each other. It’s very upsetting. Everything must be nestled just so in the back seat. Once I have kids I’m going to have to invest in some kind of crazy trunk cubby hole system, so that the bags can’t tip over! And this isn’t just a silly, oh she must be exaggerating fear. It’s real! I really get a panic attack if I more than glance at a wind chime, and if I imagine the little chimes banging into each other? I’m a goner for at least an hour. This is very real people, and my message is this: Beware the swings! Your kid could end up like me; unable to visit her friends’ nurseries because the sight of the mobile above the crib will send her into convulsions. Beware the swings!
P.S. This prompt is fortuitous because tomorrow just happens to be my sister’s birthday. Happy 25th Little Sis! I’m glad the swings didn’t actually claim your life like I thought they did. But watch out! They’re always on the hunt for new victims.