Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mommy's Moment: The Jumpy

You know that moment. That moment when you have to just let go. Let your children experience life on their own. You know they'll get pushed. Their patience will be tested. They may fall. Another child may hurt them. They'll be tempted to lose their temper. They'll have to fend for themselves. Tears very likely will be involved.
But sometimes you just have to take a step of faith and let them go...
let them get on that jumpy.
You know, the one that looks like this:
Where scared kids, impatient kids, overly confident kids, and kids who just want to slide down all get jammed up at the top in a jumpy jam.
And all we can do is cajole. Encourage the scared one down. Advise that jumpy hog to get off. Remind that impatient one it will soon be their turn. Even the fierce skull tattooed elbow dad stood helpless as we all watched the jumpy jam explode.

But our kids learn how to be patient and how to watch out for their team.
And how to make new friends. Or protect each other from bullies. I'm not quite sure what was happening here.
Making friends, we'll go with that.

And in the chaos our kids learn how order promotes the best experience.
Our kids also learn that when one kid just doesn't want to take one more step forward, it's really hard for an adult to scale up the jumpy for relief. Even if they look down at you with big wide eyes just waiting for you to take action. But you stand helpless. Therefore, it's time for that 8 year old sibling to step up and carry her the rest of the way only to push her down the extremely high slide.


Who needs a character building book when you have a jumpy?
Experiencing "the jumpy" is a crash course on the hard knocks of life.
It's a survival of the fittest at its best.
And so, when I saw my three disappear into this obstacle of a jumpy:
I hoped they'd come out in one piece on the other side.
It's an accomplishment if you can come out of this with a smile:
  I am proud my kids survived the kids three times their size walloping over them and pushing large air filled tubes in their faces.
I think they may be ready for Wipeout.
Or maybe not.
They didn't venture back in.
But like every challenge in life, there's always the silver lining.
And the jumpy teaches us that too.

Life is tough and bittersweet. And if anything can prepare your child for that fact, it's the jumpy.