I have to admit, I don’t know what came over me. I don’t think we’d ever discussed getting a trampoline, but it sure made its way to our house in a hurry once I decided that that was my next get-the-kids-to-go-outside ploy. It might have been my last straw too; I was getting tired of convincing them to leave the house, and I was even more exhausted from having to coax them to stay past their usual five minutes. It’s like they’re allergic to the fresh air and sun.
When it was 75 degrees one winter day here, I remember yelling, “DO YOU KNOW THAT IT’S SNOWING IN CHICAGO RIGHT NOW??!” perhaps in my sad, desperate attempt to shame them for wasting such a precious day. Like that would feel punishing to these girls who claim they miss the snow.
When the colossal thing finally made it to our yard, I was already expecting it to fail. Because you know how sometimes you imagine things going a certain way and somehow reality has a way of completely destroying any romantic notions you had of how things might turn out?
Well…it’s kind of like that with the trampoline, except this time – miracle among miracles - the reality is working out to be waaaaay better than what I’d expected. Who knew a trampoline could be useful in so many ways?
Grownups get to unlock their own inner child. I’d never been on a trampoline before this, and even I can’t deny the glee that comes from bouncing away like a maniac. Oh, it’s also a great workout – the pounding in my chest after ten minutes of gravity-defying stunts says so.
We’re warned against leaving small pets outside because they mysteriously disappear in these parts from prowling coyotes and possibly other large that-which-shall-not-be-mentioned creatures. *shudder* I feel bad that our cats will have to remain as indoor cats, even though I see their longing to be outside as they stare out the window. WIth this? Problem solved. It’s like his very own cat condo. He didn’t jump on it, much to my disappointment, but perhaps he’ll get there eventually.
Butt to chair is so last year. Plus research says all that sitting is really not that good for us. So why not lounge on the trampoline while soaking up some sun and devouring a few thousand words? It’s ergonomic-ish, right?
When you spend three hours raking and filling nine yard bags with leaves, this is what happens. You can’t even make it to your sofa in the living room to rest. But hey, look at that! A trampoline is great for some post-hard-labor siesta too.
As you can see, the trampoline can be quite versatile, but this is still by far my favorite of its utility. It’s hard to tell, as I didn’t zoom in on the girls, but this was my view of them from my kitchen window, playing beautifully together after school – without my prompting, might I add. They were bouncing, they were toppling over one another and giggling, they were playing tag, they were sitting together and inventing games, and they were imagining a whole new world just for themselves.
I was so grateful for such glimpses as I cleaned the dishes and prepared the evening’s meal. It was just like I’d hoped before procuring the trampoline. The best part? Instead of begging them to stay outside a little longer while I finished preparing their meal, I had to call them in for dinner. It’s the kind of thing I’d (naively) romanticized about having a family before I actually had a family – parents doing grownup things inside the house while kids enjoying kid-like things under big blue skies, and then they would all converge at the dining table together after the mom calls out: “Kids! Come inside for dinner!”
I cannot tell you how happy it made me to actually be able to do that today. It’s a little ridiculous that so much pleasure could be derived from something so simple, but you know what they say about the little things… Although, I’d argue that a 14-foot trampoline really isn’t all that little is it?