Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take decent pictures of people jumping on trampolines? Well, you can look at these pictures and decide for yourself.
K., G., and H.
G. (with L.'s head in the foreground)
Yesterday we took a family trip to a local trampoline place. It was a Christmas present from one of J.'s sisters and her husband. (A fantastic gift, huh?) This was a much anticipated event and I wasn't sure that certain family members were going to be able to handle the anticipation. We had a morning of endless comments such as, "Oh no... it's raining, now we can't go!" "What if L. is sick and we can't go?" "The clouds are moving really fast. That must mean that there is a tornado and we can't go." "I don't want to go. What if we can't go?" This happened approximately every 8 minutes. All morning. You see, sometimes children from hard places have difficulty interpreting emotions correctly, if they can interpret them at all. Therefore, excitement, fear, anxiety, and anticipation are all felt and interpreted as exactly the same. I look forward to the time that this child can happily anticipate something without feeling incredibly anxious about it as well. As J. often says, "It must not be any fun to be in his head sometimes."
So while the flying monkeys were out in full force trying to ruin our trip, we all managed to survive the morning in tact. (This alone is a major accomplishment.) J. came home early and we headed out to the jump place. It was one of those highly successful outings where there is no drama, everyone has a good time, no one gets injured, no one cries, and the activity lives up to everyone's expectations. Given the number of children and the various personalities involved, this is no small feat.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was watching H. enjoy the trampoline. You'll remember from last summer that H. struggled with gross motor skills. Pretty much anything more than walking slowly on a sidewalk was beyond her. If we had tried to get her to jump on a trampoline last summer, she couldn't have done it. Yesterday, she walked right out on them and started to jump. And jump and jump and jump. She really did jump for a good portion of the hour, with only as much resting as most of the other children. She was also able to walk on the yellow bumpers without falling, even though it was an unstable and uneven surface. At the end, J. even got her to jump with her arms above her head. If we lived closer I would consider taking people more often just to get her on the trampolines more.
After the hour of jumping, we loaded up and headed home, but with a stop for ice cream cones. Another big treat around here, but it was a double treat in that we were able to use a gift card that another person had given to us. Once again, no drama, even when confronted with too many ice cream choices. H. loved it because the ice cream store we went to is in an incredibly diverse city and makes some really interesting ice creams. There was avocado and jack fruit and green tea and pandan. J. was reading off the names and when he got to pandan, H.'s face lit up and she immediately knew what she wanted. It was as if she was meeting an old friend after a long absence. There weren't even any dropped ice cream cones, though K. and L. both picked Superman (imagine that!) and they were quite blue around the mouth for the rest of the day.
The day ended well that everyone was able to transition to being back home after some real fun. This is always a tricky time, and I admit to kind of holding my breath to see what would happen. There was only one brief moment of a certain child not being sure what to do, but it passed and the day ended well.
To have a good day with the family and have every single person enjoy it is a huge gift. And certainly not one we take for granted any more. God is good.