Bouncing baby boy

Today, in the midst of a number of other significant projects, my guys put together a trampoline.  Wow!

We’ve had an awesome Jump King trampoline for a lot of years, but none of us could remember exactly how long we’ve had it.  In trying to calculate its age, I was trying to imagine how big Andrew was when he was first jumping on it.  Toddler?  Little elementary-aged guy?  Then we were all trying to figure out how old the big kids were when we got it, but no one knew that either.  I was thinking it’s been something like seven or eight years.  Andrew wondered if it might have been ten years.  He did say, “I  remember how Dad gave it to us.  It was at Christmas, and he took the owner’s manual and wrapped it in a Pringle’s can and gave it to us.  I remember that.  We all LOVED it!”

So as I typed the previous paragraph, I thought, “Hmm. . . owner’s manual. . . so at one point there was an owner’s manual. . . I wonder if we still have it. . . but wait!  I know just where to look for it!”  And I did.

Sometime within the past year, I decided I should tackle cleaning out the massive filing cabinet in our office.  Let us not now go into the details of all that has been rather haphazardly shoved into its bowels through the years, but I did at that time accomplish one tiny file-decluttering task:  I went through ALL the owner’s manuals for everything.  They had all been dropped and compressed into two bulging and overflowing file folders labeled, respectively, “Owner’s Manuals” and “Owner’s Manuals.”

After discarding nearly half of them because we no longer own those things, I decided the remainder needed to be organized in some way, and that that way would probably involve a greater number of folders than two.  I gave this situation quite a bit of thought.  (We beavers are known to allow our planning to paralyze us into inaction.)  Initially, I tried organizing them alphabetically but quickly realized that if I ever actually needed to find an owner’s manual, alphabetically is NOT the way I would look for it.  Instead, I opted to organize them by location, which worked much better, and we now have a total of seven “owner’s manual” files, labeled (alphabetically) as follows:

Bedroom

Computer-Related (primarily office, but I couldn’t call it “Office,” because some computer stuff lives in other parts of the house)

Kitchen

Living Room

Misc Electronic

Misc Non-Electronic

Shop/Cellar/Playroom

So, in seeking the manual for our original trampoline, I simply slid open the middle file drawer; noted that the trampoline had never ever lived in our bedroom, kitchen, living room, shop, cellar, or playroom; reminded myself that it was clearly not electronic; and quickly pulled out the Misc Non-Electronic owner’s manual file.  Third item in file:  Jump King Trampoline, Christmas 2004.  Mystery solved!

2004 was ten years ago.  So Katie was 14, Jessica was 13, Josiah was 10, and Andrew was 5.

That trampoline actually collapsed last fall when Andrew and one of his not-so-slim friends were on it.  As we simply couldn’t tolerate being tramp-less, and with Scott feeling extremely thrifty, despite some advice to the contrary, he bought a used one off of craigslist.  It was smaller, not very sturdy, not as much fun, and it only a short time.  Sometime in April or May, during a Life Group here, Andrew and a bunch of other kids were happily on the trampoline.  Unknown to anyone else, one of the kids who is a neighbor of ours –  and whose family, although unchurched had been attending our Life Group – had in hand a small axe that he had picked up from somewhere in our yard.  (Evidently someone who shall remain nameless had left it lying out.  Not realizing the kid had already used the axe to slash (purposely or accidentally?) a small gash in the mat, Andrew suddenly saw the kid with the axe, grabbed it from him, and, in the truest spirit of Doing What’s Right To Protect All The Little Kids  Bouncing With You, flung it as far as he could away from the trampoline.  This was a good thing and surely prevented anyone small from being injured – much less anyone large from being sued! – but the gash quickly widened to virtually split the mat in two, and that was the end of that trampoline.

We left the poor thing sit, and for the past four months it has been drooping forlornly in the grass out back.

When you have a gymnast for a son, a trampoline is important; comparable to the importance of having a computer when you have a programmer for a son.  So I did a LOT of research and tried to find another big, sturdy, inexpensive, NEW trampoline.  I eventually found one and I told Scott about it, but since he made no comment, I just saved my link and bided my time.

Then they other day, Scott happened to say something about a trampoline!  “‘O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’ [she] chortled in [her] joy.”  I told him (again) that I had found what looked like a great one, and I sent him the link.  He replied that he was OK to buy it, and within the hour, before he could change his mind, I ordered it so fast it made my head spin.  The behemoth arrived on our porch yesterday, Scott and Andrew assembled it today – moments before it RAINED!!! – and Andrew tried it out.  He turned a back flip, said it’s super bouncy, told us he LOVES it, and said “Thank you very much!”

Looking over my shoulder, he couldn’t believe the title I put on this post, but he was grinning in his disbelief.

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