We made the purchase I swore we never would: We bought a trampoline for the backyard.
It’s being delivered later this week. I’m excited for my kids, who have wanted this for a while. But, I’m also nervous. Very nervous.
You hear all kinds of horror stories about injuries that occur on trampolines. Bloody noses. Sprained ankles. Broken bones. And the big ‘ol scary one: Concussions.
Before we purchased it, I took a brief survey on Twitter: Backyard trampolines: Should we get one?
I didn’t get too many responses, but one person wrote back that her kids never get hurt; it’s always the visiting kids that get injured.
Fabulous. So, I can expect a law suit from Johnny’s parents. Good thing our homeowner’s insurance covers us for a few thousand dollars. Or was it a hundred thousand? (NOTE TO SELF: Check homeowner’s policy).
I’ll tell you what finally convinced us to go for it, besides my sons’ begging.
I had the boys at their annual check-up and we were discussing nutrition and exercise with the pediatrician. She brought up the fact that SHE had a backyard trampoline that her kids played on for HOURS.
I don’t know what thrilled me more. The fact that her kids were occupied for hours on something that wasn’t electronic or the fact that she, an actual doctor, approved of a trampoline. I made sure I heard her correctly and asked incredulously, “so, you mean YOU have a trampoline?”
She confirmed that she did and said she had the “safe” kind, with no exposed springs. Then she conceded that the kids did sometimes get hurt when they bumped into one another while jumping, but since she herself could bandage them up or splint their leg with ease, she didn’t seem too concerned about the injuries.
I tried to curb my anxiety a bit by talking to the boys about the impending trampoline delivery.
“Are you excited for your new trampoline to arrive?” I asked Little Dude.
“Yeah Mom, I can’t wait to do flips on it!” Little Dude exclaimed.
He saw my face contort and grow pale and responded with:
“Oh don’t worry Mom, I won’t do back flips. Just front flips.”
I smiled and said, “oh, that makes me feel so much better.”
As a parent, it’s our natural instinct to want to keep our kids safe from any harm. When I was in middle school, I once had a friend who said to me, “my mom would lock me in a room for the rest of her life if she could, just so I wouldn’t get hurt.”
I remember we laughed at her mother’s protectiveness, but now of course I get it.
Since locking my kids in a room is not an option, why am I going to the other extreme and openly providing an item that greatly increases their chances of getting hurt?
Because I’m an idiot!!
And because I want them to have fun, get exercise, and most of all, take reasonable risks. I don’t want my kids approaching life with fear and too much caution. I want them to learn to go after what they want, even if it means risking failure. I don’t want them to be reckless and believe me, I’ve lectured them countless times that they are never, ever to ride a motorcycle. However, I want my boys to know that it’s okay to jump high, even if it means an imperfect landing.
And when my next post is written from the waiting room of the ER, please don’t say to me, “I told you so.”