Ellie and I headed back down by the river for a nice afternoon stroll.  I wasn’t looking for her to take a nap.  It was just gorgeous outside it felt like a crime to not have her be outside.  It was a tricky time, not quite nap time, and not quite feeding time.  So she had some yogurt for a snack, I grabbed my coffee, and we headed for the river park; destination swings!As we walked in front of the car river sitters I felt the stares.  I felt their eyes burning my flesh.  I was so nervous I felt like I might spill my coffee or lose control of the stroller and then they’d point and laugh.  As we came to the grassy area we passed a bench and I overheard one old guy say to the other, “so if you use a gun, you’ll get two years… so you get two years…”  This reminds me of a time when I was walking in Detroit and over heard someone say “without a body it’s not a crime.”  Maybe I’ve been watching too much CSI but it made me think of a headline for the paper.  Old man gets two years; body not found.

As we continued our way towards the swings I noticed a young couple getting their engagement photos taken.  At least I hope this is what was happening.  I don’t know if watching people make-out while they get their photos taken is more uncomfortable for me, or for them.  I tried not to look, but it was kind of like a car accident, or a woman with a mustache.  You don’t want to look, but you can’t help it. 

As we arrived to the swings, I took Ellie from the stroller and she just looked around.  She hadn’t fallen asleep, but she was in a twilight.  I put her in the swing and she looked around curiously.  “hmm…  this is different.”  Then I saw an Asian mom and her infant son with whom I can only guess are the white grandparents.  I instantly felt an unspoken connection to them because my wife is Asian, and my parents are white.  Her kid was halfsies just like mine!  The grandpa was a little rough around the edges but you could tell he was really into having a grandkid.  He was a big guy with a big grey handlebar mustache and a Harley Davidson t-shirt.  He brought this kid who was only 3 or 4 months old over to the swings while the mom and grandma were saying, “he’s too small for this, that’s too dirty for him.”  He shouts back, “He’ll be fine.”  He shoves the kid in the swing while still holding on to him.  “See. There. He’s fine.”  The kid just sat there like a sack of potatoes.  Well, like a sack of potatoes covered in soy sauce.  The grandpa looks over at me and says, “What do these women know.”  I just smile back with a polite chuckle.  The mom then notices Ellie and then me, and she most likely thought, “She’s halfsies, too!”  We exchanged a few hellos and how old’s your baby and then they were on their way.

With the commotion over, Ellie was ready for me to start swinging.  I gave her a little push, and she gave a half smile.  I pushed her a little more and she gave a full smile and started to kick her legs.  She went back and forth with the wind on her face.  I pushed her a little higher and she started to cackle with laughter.  The excitement was building.  She was laughing and laughing.  Then she started hiccupping.  Something seemed a little off.  Then her face stopped smiling.  Then that yogurt she had before we left decided it didn’t like to swing.  You know when you shake a can of soda up and down and then you open it.  It turns out a baby is a lot like a can of soda.  This swing had swung.  We went home.

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