When I was a pre-schooler, jumping on a bed made perfect sense. Sleeping? Resting?
Why flop like an emptied-out Raggedy Ann when I could soar like Peter Pan?
My parents, official killjoys of the universe, decreed I take naps, not turn somersaults. Lying still took 10 times more energy.
Why did those fun monkeys stop jumping on the bed just because of the doctor’s orders? The doctor also gave shots. Who in her right mind would trust him, anyway?
Despite adult meddling, children continue to jump on beds — until they graduate to trampolines.
In my first up-close-and-personal encounter with one in high school gym class, little-kid instincts came roaring back. This magic trampoline would morph me, with my uncoordinated-octopus body, into a graceful gymnast.
I climbed aboard. My P.E. teacher droned instructions.
What? I had to jump straight up and down? Teachers showed no more imagination than parents.
She called, “Try a knee drop.”
In order to wow the world and the guys’ class across the gym, I bounced …
“Take it easy,” she cautioned.
What did she know? Boom-ba-boom-ba—
I had just demonstrated before God — and the boys’ gym class — the land version of a face-busting, ego-crushing belly flop.
They all smothered grins.
My teacher didn’t smile. She checked to see if I was alive. Then she did her best to kill me.
Maybe the bouncy life wasn’t so great.
Fast-forward 40-plus years.
“Grandma, jump with us!” My grandsons, ages four and seven, bounce on their trampoline.
My jump-on-the-bed instincts pop up. Shedding shoes, I stare at the trampoline. Don’t these things come equipped with stairs now? Escalators? Cranes?
“Climb up,” one grandson urges.
The little one offers, “I help you, Gwandma!”
I hoist and heave. The boys yank on me like two ants with a watermelon.
Finally, I sprawl over the edge.
“Ya-a-a-y! Jump!” Both shoot into the air like twin rockets. Boom-ba-boom-ba—
Bleeeaaah. My stomach jiggles. So does my bladder. My internal organs love gravity way, way too much.
Still, I play bounce tag with my grandsons for a few minutes. Will my body parts ever return to their original location?
Soon I resort to the usual grandma functions: applauding, refereeing and preventing the destruction of the universe — at least that of my grandchildren, their backyard and adjoining properties.
Finally, they flop onto their backs and I with them. We discuss why God made the sky blue and trees green, instead of the other way around.
The bouncy life is fun. But know what? This looks like a really good place … for a nap … zzzzz.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever tried to return to the bouncy life?