Swinging

Today was a great day. It wasn’t particularly different from any other day, except that maybe I was paying more attention to how good it was, amidst the minor chaos of our lives.

It’s been raining for a few days, but sunny today, so it was back on the swings for G. He can swing for hours every day now. Literally, hours. We are out at our swingset multiple times a day. All you have to do is say, “Hey, Gus, wanna go swing?” He drops everything.

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He used to hate it. Not always. He was fine and dandy on swings as a baby. But around the time he turned two, when he started showing signs of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), he began crying and clinging in fear when placed on a swing. So, no swings for years. I was sad, because I wanted to swing with him on my lap like I always had, or push him, teach him to jump off, do underdogs, and twist the chains around to spin. All that good stuff.

Eventually, sometime when he was five, he tried the swings on his stomach. He was nervous at first, then built up tolerance, enjoying it more and more, till he became a wild man, on his belly flying through the air like a super hero. It was great to see, and I was so proud of him taking it at his own pace, taking a risk, but taking care of his own needs.

That was as far as it went for over a year.  When we moved to our current house, he disliked the swingset in the back yard because it has wooden seats, and he couldn’t comfortably swing on his stomach. When I suggested we buy the vinyl seats, he refused, uninterested. So, our swingset went unused, while he still belly swung at parks.

Finally, out of the blue, just about a month ago, when the spring rains had tapered off and the sun had dried the wooden swing seats, he tried our swingset. On his butt. Seated. It was amazing. He took it slowly, again building up his courage and tolerance for the feeling of flying, of a flip-flopping belly, of risk.

Today, as I gave him the “super mega push” he requested for the millionth time, I remarked to him how proud I was to see how far he’d come, how much he had accomplished since we moved to this house. I said, “Now, you are swinging, jumping off, walking on the grass in your bare feet. You are so amazing.”

He downplayed it a bit, tried to convince me he had always walked around in his bare feet (so not true). He does that. He likes to rewrite history.

“No, baby. You did all of that just in the past month or two. You have developed.”

“Mom” he says, shaking his shaggy orange hair and letting it catch the wind as he flew back, “I did it…what is the word for what I did? For doing something great?”

“Victory? Accomplishment?” I suggested.

“Victory! I had a victory. Now I can swing and walk barefoot.” His gorgeous gap-toothed smile was so sweet.

“Haha! Yes! You had a big victory, baby.”

That’s just the kind of day it was. Just a little piece of it. It was cool.

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