Dismantling Memories & Making New Ones

This past weekend my husband looked out the back door, into the backyard, as he has done a million times and asked aloud, “When are we going to get rid of the swing set?”

The rusty swing set really serves no purpose. The boys have grown too old to bother with it and it’s in the way when Carlos cuts the grass. It’s simply taking up space, but what do you do with a swing set you don’t want? You can’t just toss it in the trash… and besides, it hurts my heart a little to admit that the swing set years are officially over.

Carlos didn’t wait for me to make excuses. “I’m taking it down,” he said, and then turning to the boys, “Who wants to help?” … I expected the boys to beg him not to take it down but they ran to get the toolbox. I guess it was time.

(Our older son asked where to put some bolts, and in typical Salvadoran fashion, Carlos pointed with his lips.)

While we dismantled the swing set, Suegra happened to call on the phone from El Salvador.
“What are you doing there?” she asked.
“We’re taking apart the swing set.”
“Oh no!”

For once I thought Suegra was in agreement with me – that we were doing away with a special memory, but she continued on, “Why are you taking it down?! Where will I hang my laundry when I come back?!”


  1. jajajaja I knew it! Where is she going to hang “los chones”?
    BTW… I totally agree with you. When we start getting rid of some of my son’s toys I feel the inevitable… a sense of nostalgia. I feel like I am loosing my little boy and welcoming a young adult. I know that’s part of life, but it feels funny :/
    ps– al fin conozco a Carlos Heriberto Anacleto Casimiro!!!

  2. Oh man, you just can’t make this stuff up! So funny and bittersweet. I’m with you Señora López, when my boys grow older I know I’ll have a hard time letting go. Heck, we just cleaned out our garage last week and it broke my heart to get rid of a push toy they used when they were learning to walk….and my youngest just got done with it a few weeks ago. And since in Minnesota you can only hang laundry out for the 2.5 days of summer we get, there’s no use for that stuff.

    • @ Ruben – Very difficult to let go, but if I don’t then I will end up being a Suegra living in my son’s houses, won’t I? LOL.

      Seriously, watching them go from eating sand in the sandbox to learning how to pump their legs on a swing to playing fútbol (skillfully!) in the yard – then knowing eventually the yard will be abandoned altogether when they go off to college someday … it’s hard to swallow. I’m quite sure I’ll be a basket case when the time comes.

  3. It is so sad that the swingset came down. (but I laughed out loud at Suegra’s reaction… maybe you can get her a retractable clothes umbrella (somewhere distrete)? Our yard never had a swingset because it’s too small. I still know how you feel though — no more little tykes, no more fisher price, no more chunky, cute, colorful plastic on the lawn — waaaah.
    On to the next adventure!

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