This afternoon, my daughter, her friends, and I gazed in mute horror as workers from Russian River Parks & Recreation sawed off the branch of the flimsy tree from which neighbors had hung our short-lived, but much-loved tire swing. Actually, our horror wasn't entirely mute, because my 8-year-old daughter dismounted from her bicycle, strode up to the workers, and politely in a shrill voice, "Excuse me please, but WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH OUR TIRE SWING?!?"
Alas, the workers explained, the tree from which the tire swing swung is not stable, and the branch -- or perhaps the entire tree -- could collapse at any time, and they don't want anyone to get hurt.
I applaud the Russian River Parks & Recreation Department for their concern about our childrens' safety -- not to mention their own legal liability. But I also want us to figure out how to install a viable replacement which would be safe, but which would also provide the sort of spontaneous recreation opportunities for older children, teenagers, & adults which were provided by this wonderful tire swing.