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Swing and a Miss Afraid of Wind Chimes for the Rest of Her Life

August 31, 2010
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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.

NOT Swings.

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.

Mama's Losin' It

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 2:30 am

    Oh my, you really were scarred for life, weren’t you? How traumatic to see you sister fall. You got a great post out of it though!

  2. September 2, 2010 2:53 am

    I wonder if they have a name for that fear!

  3. September 2, 2010 2:58 am

    Wow…that’s just awful. Have you thought about some sort of aversion therapy to get over this?

    Or is it already on your list of goals?

    I’d hate to think of you missing out on your future kids not having mommy at the playground.

    And I’m still trying to figure out how the groceries in the trunk fit into this – our brains are peculiar lil organs, aren’t they?

  4. September 2, 2010 5:25 am

    oh my… didn’t realize swings were so dangerous! lol Happy bday to your sis!

  5. September 2, 2010 7:32 am

    The park is really not all that fun anyway. You wind up chasing your toddler all over it, trying to keep them from getting injured by falling from some way-too-high for kids jungle gym, leaving no time for you to text or Tweet or relax. Get a fenced yard and one of those mini, swing-free plastic play gyms. It’s better that way.

  6. September 2, 2010 8:34 am

    Oh my gosh, that is terrible. It’s funny how are brain works at times and how we can’t let things go. I think you need to try and work through this. You can’t let those swings hold you hostage forever. And you don’t want to miss seeing your “future” kiddos enjoying them. I know you can beat this fear and put it to rest! Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

  7. September 2, 2010 8:45 am

    What a fantastic laugh… you really made my day…

  8. September 2, 2010 10:09 am

    Wow….I’m not really sure what to say. It was a funny story but I imagine that is not easy to live with. I’m sorry you were traumatized like that. It is amazing what the brain can do. Well at least your sister wasn’t really hurt 🙂 I did actually gasp until I read two sentences ahead…lol
    Stoppin by from mama kat’s 🙂

  9. September 2, 2010 4:07 pm

    oh goodness … you were scarred!

  10. September 2, 2010 7:40 pm

    Great story! I am guessing you won’t be giving her wind chimes for her birthday, huh?

  11. September 4, 2010 5:13 am

    A painful but very good story! I’m glad your sister survived that nasty fall. I love swings but not any of the other things you mentioned. Roller coasters are out and I dont even want to be around them. Oddly, I actually enjoy merry go rounds because the way they spin is pretty consistent and, if you hate the wooden horses, you can sit in a sleigh styled if chair and relax… 🙂
    Glad to have stopped by to support you as a member of MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop assignment for the week.

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