When my brother and i were little, we had the world's most fabulous tire swing. The tire was HUGE, and the tree we hung it from was ginormous. Some Bethel Guys (guys my dad worked with) helped us hang the swing by throwing a brick tied to a rope over the lowest branch of the tree (which wasn't very low). The tree was actually more in the woods than in our yard, and my dad used his machete to clear out all the weeds and bushes and poison ivy, etc. that was in the way of a clear swinging path.
I spent many a blissful afternoon on that swing, my brother and i singing songs at the top of our lungs: "On top of old SMOKEYYYYYYYY!!!" But, we had the most fun when my dad would come out with us and push us. He could push that swing so high, we could see over the roof of our house. I remember holding on tightly and straining my neck to look until we finally reached the ultimate height, and i could see the cows in the pasture on the other side of our house.
I think i was 2 the day i fell off the swing.
I was never scared of heights as a kid. In fact, i was the only one in my family who would ride roller coasters at theme parks for quite a while. My mom would find a nice looking family and ask if i could ride with them, while she, my dad, and my brother would stand below the ride and watch me fly by, upside down and loopty-looping. All that to say, at 2, i was not scared to be pushed as high as the roof line of our house while swinging on the tire swing.
So there we were, my brother and i. My dad was pushing away. I'm sure we were laughing, and possibly singing, and straining to see who could look over the roof of the house first. One minute, i was flying through the air as high as i could go on that big, black, rubber tire, and the next minute i continued flying through the air, but without the tire. Just me and the breeze and the long fall to the ground below. I still remember it. I didn't have time to realize what had happened until it was over. Somehow, i lost my grip on the tire's ropes, and i slipped off mid-swing. The amazing part is, instead of hitting the ground, i hit the safety of my dad's arms. He caught me! It all happened so fast, but no one was hurt, and it was more like being tossed into my dad's arms rather than falling off the swing.
I spent many years after that loving and enjoying that tire swing, but every time i got on, i always thought about the time i almost fell to the ground but didn't...