Yesterday, I was sitting on the front porch, enjoying the peace. For once, no one was in my face whining that they wanted a drink, or food, or crying because they had a bruise from rough play. The kids were actually getting along. Their brother had just gotten a new bed, and they were breaking it in. Their laughter was ringing through the open front door like an old favorite song. Suddenly, I heard my husband yell, “Stop jumping on the bed!” Their was fun interrupted, the giggles stopped, and silence rang through the house.
He walked onto the porch, looking offended, and asked me, “Do you know what they were doing?” I couldn’t help it; I started to laugh the kind of laugh that starts deep down in your belly, the kind of laugh that tickles your chest and makes your body shake and tears fall from your eyes. He stood looking at me, confusion plain in his face. When I finally thought I had it under control, I tried to say, “What do you expect? Lucas just got a new bed,” but somehow, I just couldn’t get it out. I started to laugh again.
What could I really say? Jumping on your bed is like the ultimate childhood past-time. Of course, these days, we have trampolines and Wii’s, and all kinds of virtual games, but then? We had our beds. I remember having the best kind of bed for jumping on. The box spring was super stiff, with a firm mattress. Man, did I ever get air on that bed! Sometimes, I’d come close to hitting my head on the ceiling, and my stomach would get that wobbly ticklish feeling you get from a good laugh. My mom used to yell at me: “Tricia, stop jumping on the bed!” So I’d stop for a few minutes, and then start all over again, especially if I heard her go outside for a few minutes.
It was even better jumping with a friend. One time, my cousin Lesia and I jumped on my bed for hours while my mom wasn’t home. There was the double bounce, where we’d jump at the same time, and the uneven bounce, where we’d offset our jumps. Really, I’m surprised we didn’t end up breaking the damn bed. God, we laughed and laughed. Suddenly, there was my mom in the doorway. “What are you doing?!” We immediately sat on our butts, looking sorry. “We were making the bed softer, Mom. See, it’s already more comfortable,” I told her. She shook her head, and said, “Pretty soon, you’ll be sleeping on the floor!” She stormed out of the room and we burst into giggles. Is there any better feeling?
What was I supposed to say to my kids when I knew full well that they were jumping on the bed? Was I supposed to yell at them and tell them not to? Was I supposed to pretend to be angry that they were enjoying a wonderful past time, and making memories together? Perhaps I should have been a good parent and encouraged them to go jump on the trampoline out in the yard, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I couldn’t bring myself to be a hypocrite, when in my heart, I was on that bed, flying up into the air with them.