This story was the quick result of a confluence of weather and memory.
Our house, like any house my wife and I will ever own, is fronted by a long front porch upon which we spend a lot of our downtime. On this porch is a wicker porch swing. One afternoon during this summer’s heat wave while relaxing on the porch, my wife and I noticed the swing swaying lightly. This led to the recollection from more than twenty years ago, when our daughter (who begins graduate school this fall) was only two, was being pushed by me on a swing hanging on another front porch. I might have had (this is where my memory and my wife’s diverge slightly) had a beer or two that day. Despite warnings from my wife not to let our daughter fall off the swing, she did exactly that. Fortunately, our daughter merely was shocked but unharmed, unlike the child in this story.
From time to time I think about how lucky I was that my daughter did not get seriously injured that day and this story reflects my two decades of self-loathing about the incident. Today, my wife and daughter enjoy retelling the story of that day with a modicum of amusement. I, however, always cringe.