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Through the dormant forsythia hedge separating our back yard from two neighbors, I could see a dark-haired girl only as she hit the top point of the upswing. A flash of hair through the forsythia. Over and over, faster and faster, higher and higher.

My son said she has been out there the last few days, and she always sings. I gave him a look of disbelief and he opened a window.

Right away I could hear her, a young voice, singing to the blue, blue sky. Only the song she sang was about a black sky and people walking on eggshells around her and just wanting one last kiss from someone. As my son typed in a few lines to identify the song, I said it seems like a rather dark song for a young girl to be singing on a sunny day. He said that all her songs were like that, just as she upped the volume for the ending line and hopped off the swing.

It made me think of old playgrounds from my childhood, playgrounds I took my children to, playgrounds and swings where I pushed other people's children up and down. I wondered why I never thought of doing that. Singing while swinging.

Then I remembered the meanest music teacher in the world and her stupid little pitch pipe, telling me I had no voice for singing. I was in kindergarten. And I believed her.

My son remembered when I used to brave the loudness and listen to new music he and his brother liked, in particular "Hit The Floor" by Linkin Park, the one verse "one minute you're on top" always sounding like "miniature rock star" in my old head.