Today, most people [normal people] think of Martin Luther King Jr. and his unwavering passion for African American equality. Me? Well, I think of baby swings.
Twelve years ago was the most eventful day of my young, boring life [up to that point]. Like every other ten-year-old, I was enjoying the freedom of no school. My mom [oh so wisely] took all of us to a popular park in Texas where we could properly embrace this freedom without breaking anything, or killing anyone.
Once there, I decided it would be fun to slide my child-like thunder thighs through the small holes of a baby swing. The nostril-size holes were from one of those old-school swings, the ones that look like giant brown diapers.
|Image found on google.com|
You see, I couldn't move. No amount of wiggling could get me out. I was horrifyingly STUCK.
My eyes grew big as I realized I was trapped. I started thinking "OH my gosh! They are going to have to chop my legs off! I'll never be able to walk again! Dad is gonna be so mad at me!" Keep in mind, I'm ten. (This is also a point in my life when my father thought I was going to be really tall and be awesome at basketball. Sorry, dad.)
I yelled at Blake to find my mom. She, of course, took her sweet time because I "did this kind of thing all the time." (Two times I pretended to be stuck in a tree and suddenly I'm the girl who cries "stuck!") By the time she finally made it over to me, I was convinced my legs were turning purple and would fall off at any moment.
It didn't take her long to assess the situation. This time, I wasn't faking it. She gave my body a few jerks, trying to free me from my diaper chamber. But nothing. She ended up calling 911, because what else could be done? I'm sure they loved getting that call, "Yes, we have a juvenile stuck in a baby swing..."
What seemed like an eternity later, the paramedics finally arrived. By this time, a crowd had started to gather. Parents and children all sat around the jungle gym and watched the poor, idiotic girl trapped in the baby swing bawling her eyes out.
The paramedics tried to calm me down, but that effort was pretty futile. First, they tried to cut the swing. But underneath the leather covering was metal, so cutting through the swing wasn't really an option. Then they flipped the swing [me along with it] entirely upside down. One man held my feet, while another tugged on my arms trying to release me. I felt like a human tug of war. The crowd as well as my fear that I would never walk again had siginificantly increased.
They then splattered petroleum jelly all over my white legs, much like they would prep a pregnant woman's bulging belly for delivery. Flipping me upside down, they pulled, tugged, yanked... until FINALLY, I was free!
I stumbled out of the swing, crying from the relief that I wasn't going to lose my legs and the embarrassment that I had just been the playground spectacle for about sixty people. It was a horrific, terrible experience. But now, it's hilarious and I wouldn't trade it for the world. What we wouldn't give for a video camera.
So today on MLK day, here's to freedom. Freedom of all kinds.