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Playground Memories

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I am in Portsmouth, New Hampshire last year visiting my aunt, uncle and my younger cousin Julia. I decide to take Julia and their dog, Charlie for a walk around their neighborhood. Their neighborhood is in a very convenient place; downtown Portsmouth is only a ten-minute walk from their house. On this walk, Julia shows me a small playground only a few minutes away from their house. It reminds me so much of the playground at my elementary school; the playground I spent six years of my life enjoying.

Julia has me play with her on the jungle gym for a little while—well; she plays on the jungle gym a while. I watch most of the time avoiding to low hanging bars and making sure that I didn’t smash my head while crawling through the narrow tunnels, while Julia was small enough to climb around the playground with perfect ease.

Julia then decides that she wants to go on the swing for a little while. I used to love to go on the swings when I was younger. I know it is never going to be the same as it was, but I decide to take a seat on one of the swings anyway. Julia swings along happily while I got frustrated with the fact that my legs were so long. The only time I have ever gotten frustrated with my height is when I have wanted to swing like I used to when I was younger. Once my legs started dragging across the gravel, I get off annoyed. I watch with Charlie at my side as Julia swings herself higher and higher. I remember what it was like to swing when I was younger.


Back in elementary school, the swings were my life. I always used to love it when we had recess outside. I used to love the slides, and playing tag with my classmates. None of those things compared to my love for the swings, however.

When I was on the swings, I let my imagination run free. As the swing went higher, I used to pretend that I was flying away from the school to someplace new. It was the greatest feeling-just the wind blowing through my hair as I swung. For me, nothing compares to that. I still remember how sore my hands used to get for squeezing the chains of the swings too hard. But that didn’t matter much to me; I just swinging.

As my classmates and I got older, we became much more daring. We had to move to a different set of swings so that our feet wouldn’t touch the ground. I couldn’t stand it; when my feet touched the ground while I was swinging. When my feet would hit the gravel, it completely killed the air bound effect that I loved so much. Lots of kids would swing just enough to get a lot of air and then jump off, landing with a thud on the ground. I, however, preferred gradually getting higher and then leaning my head back once I got high enough. I loved that the most. I used to get the same butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling that you get on the first big drop of a rollercoaster. I love it. I miss it.


I watch from the sidelines as Julia was swinging, enjoying her time. I remember what it was like to feel free; like nothing could touch me. I remember what it felt like to almost touch the sky.



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