(First off, this has NOTHING to do with “swinging” – so get out of the 70’s and read on..)

Last weekend I was with my five-year-old daughter Lulu at a small park in a village in Tuscany.

Parco di Pini in Castiglion Fiorentino is just like the name describes, a park surrounded by pine trees. But what the name doesn’t tell you, is that the park is also perched on a cliff – with a tremendous view spreading out before you of the Tuscany valley below.

I’m sure the view is even better if you hopped on a swing set and began to soar up high.

??????????And that’s exactly what Lulu decided to do.

She climbed on the seat, held on to the chains, and after just one “starter push” from me, pumped her little legs back and forth and began to go!

Like most moms, I walked over to a nearby bench and sat down to watch her.  But perhaps, unlike, most moms, I decided not to tell her it was time to come down after only a few minutes. I wanted to see just how long she would choose to stay up there – on her own.

So, then, for twenty minutes, I watched her.  She tilted her head waaaaay back as she swung – the breeze catching her long hair and really blowing it.


We smiled and waved at each other occasionally. But I didn’t stop her.

Eventually, after almost half an hour, Lulu slowed down and stopped.

“Whew.  That was fun,” she told me.  “It was just like flying!”

“Good, Honey, I’m glad you like to swing.”

“I do.  You should try it too.”

I used to like swinging a lot.  I remember Julie, my best friend in third grade, and I used to swing all through our recesses.  Back and Forth. Back and Forth.  Never stopping until the teacher blew her whistle signalling recess was over.

Now, if I go too long or too high, I tend to get a little queasy.

But, I thought, Lulu is right.  I should try to do it more.

I’m all for thinking and planning and working…. and thinking about planning to work… and basically just getting caught up in the harried moments that comprise each day.

But it’s important – much more so than I currently consider – to take time to stop.

And just swing.

DSCN1979Thanks, Lulu, for reminding me.

Till next time, tutti! 

When’s the last time you took out time to “swing” – What’s your favorite “time-out?”  Please share!

And for more inspirational conversations and adventures between Lulu and me, my new book, “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me” is available now at Amazon.com