Childhood Memories Brought Back By a Carnival Swing Ride

8:02 AM

If there was one carnival ride that I can call my favorite during my childhood days, it would be the swing ride. The swing ride or the chair swing ride also goes by the name swing carousel since it is actually a variation of the carousel. Most rotating tops also tilt to provide variation of motion. What I remember most about this ride is the sensation of being sent higher and higher while securely latched on a chair as it goes faster and faster. High up there, I weaved countless childhood dreams specifically during school fairs.

Image Source: flickr/matthew_pierce
A Long Time Ago

During my childhood days, I was an avowed carnival ride fanatic. In our annual school fairs, you can bet that as the sun shall rise, so will I be there lining up. If the fair will be for three days, that would be the same number of days I will be lining up to take my rides.

The allowance I get for the day will be used for ride tickets, even sometimes to the point of sacrificing food. I will then wait for my father to fetch me and buy me food, often perplexed why I seem so hungry. I never admitted I used most of my money for rides. He never asked...probably he knew. I stopped taking carnival rides when obligation and responsibilities came in and that was a long, long time ago.

She Won't Ride Without Me

I never really had much reason to start riding again. My two older children rode carnival rides on their own or with their friends. My youngest child was different. She has been scared of these rides and have spent the last couple of years safely in the school playground while her brother have the time of his life riding during school fairs.

This year was different. She wanted to ride but she won't do it without me. I was aghast with the idea. I was afraid I'd be nauseous or suffer a vertigo-like attack. It has been quite some time since I last rode and I am not the young girl I used to be. She prevailed on me and so the rest is history.

Childhood Memories in a Carnival Swing Ride

And so it happened that I rode all the rides and was doing fairly well until we came to the swing ride. When I sat on the chair, I felt like a child again. As the chair was raised higher and higher, I remembered the childhood plans I made a long time ago in the same scenario. Then I felt a small ache in my heart in knowing that my father will not be here this time around after I finish my rides.

The ache was masked with joy when I saw my daughter beside me, enjoying the ride as well. I don't know if she was weaving dreams of her own up there or was she wondering if I was that scared for me to be obviously teary-eyed. I must have gotten her a bit confused with my laughter and smarting eyes.

My Say

Memories come even in the most unexpected times. They may be triggered by  people, places, events, objects, and even a familiar scent. They may be welcome or unwelcome depending on the emotion it brings.

That said, I thank my daughter for making me remember how it feels to be young and carefree. I cannot help but smile when she asked me "Doesn't it feel good to feel like a child again, Mama?" I said, "Yes, it does, my child, yes, it does."

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