Higher 1"Push me higher," she screams, her voice shaking with joy and anticipation.

Tim pulls back and lets her go toward the skies like a rubber band. She laughs, unfettered - eyes sparkling, lips parted: "HIGHER! HIGHER!"

"That IS high," he protests.

"That's NOT HIGH," she shouts back, indignantly.

The higher she is, the happier she is...yet it's still not quite high enough.

I sit on the park bench, holding her baby sister, watching the exchange with a slight smile on my face.

As I watch, I think of this little swing ride as a metaphor. I catch my breath and pray quietly, "Help her to dream big, to reach high...to always, always say, 'That's NOT HIGH' when people tell her that her dreams are too wide and deep."

And then Shel Silverstein's famous poem whispers across my mind -

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child.
Listen to the DON'TS.
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS.
Listen to the NEVER HAVES.
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child.
ANYTHING can be.

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22 comments on “Higher”

  1. I was recently talking to a friend who has older children and she was saying how "easy" it is for us now (tongue in cheek!). It's nice being able to control how high and fast they go now, huh? Lord, please HELP me for when they are pushing themselves!!

  2. What a beautiful thought-and another stunning photo! We adore Shel in our house. Your reflections & his poem are kindred spirits.

  3. I love days at the park with my kids. I'm one of those Moms who gets up on the equipment or swings right along with my kids. Once my son learned how to pump his legs I would sit with my daughter on my lap on the swing next to him and we would all swing together. So much fun!! Hearing "higher, higher Mom" never gets old!! :) Enjoy those times with your girls.

    And I love Shel Silverstein as well. I just recently realized that we didn't own any of his books except The Giving Tree so I went and bought Where the Sidewalk Ends. I plan on getting his other ones as well.

  4. I love this perspective! Such a nice outlook...and one I will think about tomorrow when my 2.5 yr. old screams the same thing. It amazes every single time when she is completely unphased by going higher while I am shaking in my boots! But he laughing sure is nice!

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