This afternoon I swung on my swing set for the last time.
They already started taking you down. My childhood. I remember the day they brought you home and set you up, I couldn't wait to play on you but I had to because it was time for kindergarten and I couldn't be late. You had two levels, a steering wheel, binoculars, 3 normal swings, a baby swing, a tired swing, and a straight slide and a twisty slide (I called them the plank and the black hole). Playing pirates was always one of my favorites. During the summer other kids and I would put towels up around the sides and build a fort to hide from the littler kids using pool noodles as weapons. Do you remember the time the boy got stuck in the baby swing and my mom had to lift him out? I still have the picture. What about watching fireworks on the fourth of July all across the valley from the top level with dad? I loved spinning around in endless circles on the tire swing and getting soooo dizzy until the day my legs grew too long to fit through the tire. When my sister and I took the cat up with us and she ran down the ladder without falling and I was sad she didn't stay but in awe at her abilities of not falling off. When I was really little and could only go down the slide with someone at the end. Taking my nieces and nephews down the very same slide just a few years later so they wouldn't be scared. My niece and nephews called you grandma and grandpa's park, they think you're the coolest thing ever, now they're leaving too. These are only a fraction of the memories you and I share.
As I grew up you got older and you held onto every memory we share in your worn down wood frame better than my own memory. One night after a rough couple of weeks one of my best friends and I spent a good 30 minutes swinging and talking. Do you still hold those secrets close like I do? I'll never forget the time I kissed him on the top level. Just a few weeks ago when I was stargazing with my friend, laying down and hoping you would hold us both. I have grown up with you and I can't stand to see you go. You may have loose screws and need to be sanded down and maybe a good sun proof stain, and maybe you're a lot less safe than I would like to admit. Either way I'll always love and miss you, my friend. I grew and you slowly fell apart, but you constantly supported me. You were always there for me when I was upset, you cheered me up and absorbed my tears from the dirt and grass upon which you sat.
Even my friends are sad, saying that it is a huge piece of their childhood too, and you can't get rid of it there are too many memories. I know, believe me I know. Now as a senior in high school I must say goodbye to the one who means so much more to me than just an old swing set.
As I rushed back and forth I felt the rush of the wind pass my face and through my hair, the squeak of the metal that has become comforting. I inhale and take the moment in, not wanting to let go. I know I won't have any more time with you and I wish I had known how lucky I was to have you before today. But now I will move on with you in the form of my initials followed by 2002-2015.
This afternoon I swung on my swing set for the last time. Tomorrow you'll be gone for good. I don't think I'm ready to let go of not only you, but also my childhood. Please don't forget me, I'll never forget you. I love you.