I'm not even entirely sure how we ended up with a trampoline. Last summer there was a truck that arrived with a collection of pipes and mesh. It is or was - I'm not sure, as possession of it, as I said, is shrouded in mystery - my good buddy Lexi's, but then it ended up in my garage needing safe haven and a few patching repairs. The trampoline itself is over twenty years old. Lexi jumped on it as a child. And now my children jump on it.
As my neighbor said ominously, as he watched The Man put up the trampoline, 'Oh, now you've gone and done it.' He went on to say that trampolines attract random kids like shit attracts flies. And, unsurprisingly, he is right. We have discovered, as thousands of parents have discovered before us, that while the trampoline is great fun, there is a fairly high risk factor for the jumpers. Personally, I believe that risk can be managed successfully, especially if your children value their unbroken bodies and do not act like jackasses. Unfortunately, that can't be said of the neighborhood kids, so the trampoline will have a shorter than expected stay in our backyard this summer. We have a few more days with it - along with some heavy supervision by myself and The Man - and then it will go back into the garage for a spell or find perhaps find a place where it is less likely that I will have to stand by and nag fifty kids to please, damnit, follow the few, simple frickin' rules we've put into place for your own bloody safety.
Instead of degenerating into a rant about personal responsibility and the inability of kids these days to manage their own risk, I'm just going to sign off and go take some more pictures of the kids jumping while the neighbor kids peek through the fence, looking forlorn, now that they've been forbidden to bounce. Having to limit who gets to jump wasn't a fun decision, but becoming a raving lunatic trying to manage a million kids is even less appealing.