Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jump! Go Ahead and Jump

"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.


Rob said...

That was a great decision to get in there and jump around, James. I've got to remind myself to pretend that I'm about thirty years younger from time to time as well, and mix it up in Cooper's little world. It's a great little parallel universe full of two-foot tall imaginations :-)

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Rob - Yes, we tend to forget as we get older that we can still have fun like we used to. Nice to be reminded.

Nik said...

I never used to know what the rules were, either, but it seems that usually no one really cares, and the person who is meant to be watching to make sure that our children are not injured can't be bothered. By the way, they are generically known as 'bouncy castles' in England, because many, though definitely not all, are in the castle motif.

Andrea said...

Just linked over from Us & Them (and the name caught my eye as a teen Star Wars fan lives here)--Sounds like you know where you'll be celebrating YOUR next birthday!!! Hooray for you!

Kevin McKeever said...

Bouncy Houses are wasted on the young. A fact we all sadly know now.

Captain Dumbass said...

Bouncy castles for adults, there could be a huge market in that.

Oh, and ya, you have to take advantage of those moments.

Jason said...

i did a day like that a few years ago in Vegas with my daughter. I was the only dad, nay parent, willing to act 4 years old for my kid. It was the best day. I look for those opportunities as well. Good work Force Father. Great post.

The Cheeky Daddy

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Nik - Nice to see you stop by. I don't think there are any rules against grownups in them, just a bunch of parents wondering if they would look foolish. Obviously I don't care that I do.

@Andrea - Thanks for stopping by. Love Us and Them. So funny.

@Kevin - Wishing there were an adult only one around here. That served beer. What?

@Captain - Whay hasn't anyone thought of this before??

@Jason - Thanks. And thanks for stopping by too. Always great to see other dad bloggers visiting.