Winston-Salem offers something very special and unique. Arts, history, downtown, and, bulky item pick up. I’m sure there are other places that offer this, but the thought is really crazy that once a year you can haul almost anything to your curb and have it removed by the city.
I have warned my family this year we are cleaning out, big. I have been so excited getting ready for a serious Spring Clean. Yes, truck after truck drives around the neighborhood, taking things almost as soon as you put it out. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Our garage will look amazing after purged of so many things that seem to serve no purpose other than to take up space, and our lawn will be cleaned out, too.
At the corner of our yard, for almost 10 years now, our swing set has sat. Old, rickety, covered in mud and chalk. Loved through 10 years of spring, summer, winter and fall days. It has been home base for countless games, forts for all kinds of adventures, and quiet moments of swinging in the breeze. A part of the fabric of our lives for the past ten years. And that’s when I cried. Watching the kids well loved, rickety, barely usable anymore, play set disassembled and taken to the street for bulky item pick up. I didn’t see the rotten wood, I saw years of pushing them in the swings. I saw our years being played in slow motion like a black and white movie. The years before school began and our days were filled with naps, play time, naps, repeat. Precious moments that somehow seem to be flying by, just like you are always told they will. No more toddlers running through the yard, bloomers covering diapers and john johns bursting at the seems, we are on to lacrosse sticks and soccer goals now.
I know this is the end result. I know our goal to raise good kids and watch them grow up and learn to take care of themselves along the way. I like to think of it as being a tour guide…hear to guide them but the goal is for them to learn to fly on their own. But it just undid me, that swing set in pieces, and now I feel like my heart is in pieces, too.
So I came inside to write, which I often do as my comfort or source of sharing my feelings. But the tears are bouncing off my key pad and my shirt sleeves are wet from wiping my face. And so I cry, happy tears of happy memories, really, and I know it won’t be the last time. There is a joy in my heart, too, that bittersweet feeling we all know.
Each day is a gift. There are moments when we take it for granted and wish the days away. How many times have I looked at that swing set and wanted it gone? Now that it is, and I feel like so much more has been taken away. There are moments we want to freeze time and soak it all in. Enjoy them all.