Last week we took down our swingset.
It feels like I should play a little funeral dirge behind that sentence. No swingset, after 12 years of living in a home with a swingset. Ours is gone.
I watched the disassembling from my perch on the back patio (where I sat wearing a JACKET in late August, by the way–if this is climate change, it's working for me just fine). I watched the boys handing tools to Hubs, while Corrie sang them show tunes (it was immensely helpful to them), and I coached myself: do not get sentimental, do not get sentimental. It's just a rusty old death trap that needed to come down before someone got launched over the neighbor's fence. Anyway, it would be nice for some grass to grow over there. This is purely practical–it is not some climactic harbinger of my sad, empty nest.
But because I find myself squarely in a midlife crisis at the moment, realizing that I'm just this close to not having a preschooler for the first time in 13 years–well, my raw emotions are turning non-events into events, every single day. Hubs knew this, and he called over his shoulder as he worked: "You sure you don't want to take a picture?"
"NO!" I yelled back, in all caps, "NO, BECAUSE THIS IS JUST NO BIG DEAL. REALLY. I MEAN, NO BIG DEAL AT ALL."
And then I think I may have stomped my foot.
But just before I let myself descend–yet again–into my swirly pot of self-pity that my babies are growing, I caught a look at my 8 year old, attempting to use one of the old swingset bars as a javolin. At the same time, the twelve year old was drawing up blueprints on how he could incorporate the swingset wreckage into a fort. The 10 year old picked up a garden house and started watering down the tiny sprigs of grass underneath where the swingset once lived.
They were moving on to better things. Repurposing.
It is precisely what they should do, just as it is precisely what I should do. The times, they are a-changin', and I can mourn their passing (and thus miss their passing), or I can look at what is to come. Even as I leave behind the Season Of the Swingset, I'm greeting a new season in its place. It's a season of deep conversations and belly laughs and hair gel and healthy grass and every member of my family cutting his own meat.
We're moving on to better things. Repurposing.
And I like it.