Jumping for joy

I have always been fairly against trampolines.  The injuries, the liability, the thought of a massive fifteen-foot circular monstrosity clogging up the backyard; it was all just too much to handle.  There was no way one of those things were ever coming to my house.
But then I realized the containment capability of a trampoline.  Now that they are required to have safety nets that extend way beyond any reasonable height a person could actually jump, they look a lot less like a trampoline and a lot more like a play pen suitable for grown children. 
Our kids begged for one and during the whining I had a vision of myself sitting in a lawn chair relaxing while they jumped happily for hours on the trampoline and not on my couch, beds, or off the walls.  I caved under a dream sequence that involved my actually finishing a book and a cup of hot coffee, and the monstrosity arrived shortly after.
Anyone who has set up a trampoline knows what is coming next.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of doing so, let me give a couple of pointers:
-Read the directions in their entirety, cover to cover, before you start. 
-If you happened to have purchased the same brand that we did, reading the directions will do no good.
-Keep your children out of hearing range because the profanity of an angry sailor will unavoidably ensue.
-A set of matches will be handy when it is finally assembled so that you can set fire to the blood-pressure rising directions which failed to mention one very important step.
I understand that a lot of things are not manufactured in an English speaking country, and I accept that so much can be lost in translation, but when a crucial set of directions fails to mention the correct location to start attaching all 96 springs that encircle the trampoline, I start to get a little upset.  And then if you don’t realize that you have incorrectly assembled 96 springs as well as the rest of the joyous toy until you have done all of that and tied together 192 straps, I begin sounding a bit like that sailor myself.
We started too late in the day, and then after putting the entire thing together and then having to take it all apart, we had to shift it twelve slots to the left and re-build the item of desire in the dark so that we could finally say “yes” when the children constantly asked if it was done yet.
And then, they jumped.  And jumped. And I sit in the comfort of my chair and watch them play cheerfully and I do quiet things, like read a book or drink some tea or write an online review for a wonderful trampoline with the worst set of instructions I have yet to find in my non-sea faring life.

Originally written 7/13/14


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