The Princess has turned five, and at the same time reached an important life milestone; self-propelled swinging.
Five is huge. Five is a major shift from little kid to medium sized kid, and along with the shift come some added responsibilities. Five brings with it kindergarten. School bus, cafeteria lunch, a big school, and a big playground.
Big playgrounds have big swings, and kindergarteners know how to swing (or at least that’s what I tell the Princess). The Princess loves to swing. She could spend days gliding back and forth, but she still needs to be pushed.
To avoid any further discussions of a hideous swing set being added to the Dude’s righteous landscaping, the Dude crafted a masterful plan to help the Princess and ring in the five year old birthday; a swing hooked to the underside of the deck/house. The swing is the most popular part of the swing set anyway…it’s called a SWING set for good reason.
So, to ring in the festivities, the Dude surprised the Princess with a groovy new green swing with bright yellow rubber protecting the chain link running from swing to house. A beautiful swinging specimen.
And the Princess rejoiced at the sight, but I’m not sure any of us were prepared for the true joy such a simple gift could bring.
Of course the Dude didn’t buy all of the right parts, but of course the Dude made due with the provided parts and some magic parts from the garage, and the swing was eventually hung with care…about an hour after a fifteen minute project began. Typical Dude. But, the end result is just right, and the Princess agrees wholeheartedly.
Within seconds of being hung, the swing was swinging and the joy was growing like the Grinch’s heart at Christmas. After one or two introductory pushes, something clicked and self-propelled swinging began. The Princess had learned how to pump her legs to swing. A major hurdle overcome, and new life long skill was cemented into place.
The Princess was immediately in love with her new skill. As the Dude tended the garden, the Princess excitedly talked as only a five year old girl can, quickly leaping from one random thought to another. At one point I heard “Yippee!” yelled repeatedly at least 30 times; I say at least because that’s where I lost count. The Yippee was followed by the My Little Pony theme song sung at top volume, which of course led to the proclamation, “I’m swinging…with my eyes closed…and singing!”
The singing eventually led to some Dude and Princess discussions (always interesting), and the Dude realized the swing was a great gift for both of them. The Dude sidestepped the swing set in the backyard debates, helped the Princess with one of life’s simple pleasures, and created a great forum for Dude and Princess discussions. The Dude gardening and the Princess swinging, delving into many of life’s mysteries…usually profoundly explained to the Dude by the Princess.
It was a struggle to pull her off the swing as the stars began to peek through the dusk sky, and the first words uttered the following morning were “can I go outside to swing.”
So begins the big summer of the Princess and the development of life skills all kindergarteners know (at least that’s what I tell her). Next on the list: swimming, tying shoes, and riding with no training wheels. Watch out kindergarten.