Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Trampoline and Other Adventures

The voice of an old friend came across the line, an unexpected pleasure, the best kind. This friend and I go way back. We raised our kids together for a time and shared all kinds of experiences. As single parents we learned to enjoy simple pleasures, like sitting on the back porch to share a bowl of strawberries or a trip to the beach with our kids. Those were the days when each one was truly an adventure and a test of our parenting and other survival skills.

There was never a dull moment with what mischief the two of us and our six kids, three each, could get into. One day in particular stands out among the memories of this era. The two of us had been out shopping for the afternoon. We arrived at her home to find an empty house and a strange odor.  Puzzled, we set down our packages and prowled about in search of the source. As I stood in the living room I heard a scream come from the back of the house.

“OH MY GOD!!!”

This was in the days that when someone said, “Oh My God”, it meant something. It was not an overused acronym added for emphasis on any given topic. This was an all caps, fully spelled out, ear splitting scream, with a triple exclamation point.

I ran toward the scream to the bathroom and there they were, four large black fish swimming in a fully filled bathtub. There was another one in the bathroom sink and later we found two more in the kitchen. It appeared that her boys had caught quite a string while we were out. I did what any really good friend would do in that situation. I laughed myself silly and went home.

Years have passed since then, but each time I see her, I think of this day.

This friend, who is now in the process of moving, was calling because she had a few things that she wanted to get rid of before she leaves, one of them being a trampoline. I paused at first as my weekend was all planned out. There was not time for this in my busy schedule. But then…. I searched my mind for a way to make this work. I called her back a few minutes later and agreed to buy this trampoline as long as her hubby would bring it to my daughter’s house and set it up. In route to my next stop on the day’s agenda, I notified the family troops that we were moving Sunday dinner so all of the grandkids could jump.

That following day, I had not been in the lawn chair long, when little voices beckoned, “Come jump with us Grandma.”

“How hard can this be?” I thought to myself as I clumsily climbed up and struggled to get my bearings with children bouncing all around me. I took my stance, firmly in the middle at first and began to jump.

“When was the last time I jumped?” I wondered out loud.

The kids smiled with that look of endearment that younger ones give to older ones when they are attempting to do something that makes them look really silly. We jumped and laughed and I will never forget the joyful looks upon these little faces, the same ones that will grow too fast.

A few days later I spoke with the old friend and told her of our trampoline escapades while moaning of sore muscles in places I had forgotten existed.

“By the way, what did you ever do with those fish?” I asked her as we walked around memory lane.

“Well, we cleaned them of course.” she answered.

I thank you dear old friend for the trampoline, and for the reminder that we need to answer the call for new adventures and spontaneous fun when they come to us. I thank you also for the laughter filled memories of fish in the bathtub and smiling faces flying in the October sky.


Sandy S. said...

A touching story of enduring friendships...Nice.

Anonymous said...

So I wonder how Grandma feels after being on the trampoline several times. Is she hurting? I bet so!!!

J Goode said...

My knees are killing me, but it was worth it. I can't wait to get out there again tomorrow. The forecast is sunny!