Here's the beautiful oak tree from which our tire swing hangs. It's much prettier in person.
There are a few, simple joys in life. It seems that as time goes on there are less and less. This disheartens me. I long for days gone by when people talked to one another face-to-face and genuinely knew one another, a time when people seemed to care more for their fellow man, and a time when children were innocent and unaffected by the world and allowed to be kids. Though I have to contend with it and I freely recognize the many benefits of technology, I often loathe what it has done to society. People find their self-worth in how many “friends”, followers, or likes they garner. Relationships are superficial. Children are exposed, corrupted, and either are ridiculed or learn to ridicule their peers. This all sounds very discouraging and, to me, it is. But though simple joys seem fleeting, there remain a few. One of these is the old-fashioned tire swing.
Here's another shot of the tire swing. That little building is a bona fide two-seater outhouse. It was on the property when we bought it. I would have never thought to install an outhouse (it's newish), but it has come in handy for gatherings and play dates--cleaner than a porta-potty and people aren't constantly in and out of the house soiling up the new-fangled indoor plumbing facilities.
There is something so pure and appealing about the site of it. The feelings conjured are peaceful and restorative. Maybe this all sounds a bit dramatic, but when I see a tire swing I see and hear laughing children. Is there anything more satisfying than a happy child? And that is what the tire swing represents to me—childhood innocence.
On their own, tire swings are visually appealing. The Internet abounds with pictures of lone tire swings as testament to that statement (see my tire swing Pinterest board for some examples). Add some children to that picture and instant peace is the result. I love watching our children play on our tire swing. It’s one of those images I try to implant in my brain because I know they won’t always want to or be small enough to do it in the future. It’s one of those scenes that chokes me up and makes me realize I must live in the moment and not squander the time I have. It also makes me grateful we have the tire swing and that rather than sitting alone in their room attached to a screen away from everyone else, my children are engaged with their surroundings and laughing with their siblings and friends. They are creating memories—for them and me.
I often host play dates at our home. With all the land we have for running and exploring and all the other activities for kids (trampoline, tree house, play house, swings, etc.), I feel an obligation to share my blessings and I want my kids to have true friends with which they spend quality time. It never fails that the tire swing is among the first and most consistently engaged features when we have a collection of kids around. Though other games and ways of playing have faded away, the tire swing perseveres.
Sweet Little Mama is giving all she has to give her big brother a good swing.
On the weekends, it is not uncommon to find Mr. and the kids down at the tire swing, because nobody can do a better job pushing the swing than daddy. I take great comfort in thinking of my children remembering their father that way when they’re older. Otherwise, The Boy and Little Mama honestly show the best cooperation and do their best sharing at the tire swing in taking turns pushing each other. That right there is golden, folks.
The favor is returned.
Though there is nothing new about tire swings and there is certainly nothing innovative I can contribute to the subject, I wanted to write about the tire swing as a reminder to us all. As parents, we often get caught up in providing our children with the latest and greatest. I’m certainly guilty. We don’t seem to want them idle or bored for any length of time. We remain on the look-out for the next great thing to occupy them. We seem to forget that children found ways to thoroughly enjoy their childhood before the advent of technology. Suspending a rubber tire from a tree happens to be one of those ways that children today still enjoy.
I couldn't resist.
For tire swing pictures and ideas, check out my Pinterest board. Who knew tire swings were so versatile? And don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of outdoor space or no trees! I’ve pinned some ideas for tire swings that don’t require trees.
Let me know in the comments about your cherished tire swing memories!