"This way! Follow me. Follow me!!" was his plea, as Lukas waved his arms trying to get the attention of a couple of the other kids nearby.
He clearly had a plan.
But the the other 3 and 4 year old in question weren't exactly cooperating on this Sunday morning as I watched a few feet away holding my steaming paper cup full of my favorite caffeinated beverage. They were zipping this way and that, energy bursting forth as they got their first tastes of what the facilities where the birthday party we were attending had to offer.
We were at a kids bouncing place, complete with several large inflated 'rooms' strategically laid out for maximum kid enjoyment.
I was still perfectly happy occupying my spot, chatting with the other parents who happened to wander by, moving only when I needed to keep my eye on my little guy. But, seeing Lukas becoming a bit frustrated by the lack of cooperation from his little buddies, I set my coffee down in a safe place, kicked off my shoes, and called out to him "I'm coming Buddy. Which way are we going?"
Now, there weren't any other parents on the bouncers, but there were no rules specifically prohibiting it either, so when Lukas' eyes grew wide and his smile big, and he responded with "This way!" jumping into an inflatable that turned out to be a giant maze with slides, I dutifully followed suit. Mrs. LIAYF, not to be outdone, also came along on the next pass.
It was a great decision. That's because I jumped, slid, bounced and laughed with him - and a lot of the other kids, plus some parents - for nearly the next hour and a half straight. And Lukas had a terrific time. Honestly though, I haven't had that much fun in quite some time either. Including a morning at the very same complex a couple of weeks before. I hadn't really participated on that morning, but this time I had the bug.
After it was all said and done, we were lining up to move to the pizza and birthday cake portion of the morning, and although I was certainly showing my 40 and 3 years by being a bit spent as well as overheated, I was ready to go again the next week. There was only one small problem.
There were no more birthday parties planned amongst Lukas' circle of friends. What a bummer. I even joked to a couple of the other dads that we should just show up the next week with our kids and blend in to whatever party was going on. Everyone's heard of Wedding Crashers. Well, we could be Bouncy Crashers. They all laughed, but none actually seemed game.
Oh well, I'll get over it. But I'm sure glad I decided to set down my Cup of Joe and join with my son in some unadulterated fun. I need to keep reminding myself to do things like that. To enjoy these moments as they present themselves.
Becuse before I am ready for it, they won't be there for me to take advantage of anymore.