Swinging in the rye

"I heard about the caterpillar homicide," said the preschool mom. We were visiting on the playground while she pushed her daughter on a swing. I was on the verge of a panic attack as clueless red-headed tots toddled way too close to the swingset.

Officially, I was not supervising the playground at the school picnic. Unofficially, that's a tough duty to turn off even when parents are present to monitor their own offspring.

Glad the caterpillar's violent end is talk between the preschoolers and their parents. Respect for living things, and the reality of death have to be discussed. I'm sad about the sensationalized tabloid reporting and harsh treatment of the very young caterpillar stomper.

Glad, too, that my sons eventually learned to "pump" on the swings so I didn't have to push. Seven year olds can do that.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

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