Just Bounce.

Dear Bella,

Today I learned that you don’t like bouncing. Not even a little bit.


We jumped this afternoon on a friend’s trampoline. I love trampolines. I’m trying to convince your dad we need one in our backyard, but he’s not buying my story of “it’s for the good of the kids.”

I didn’t tell him that today you told me you like trampolines, but only if they don’t bounce.

Ummmm … that’s kind of what trampolines do. They bounce you all around.

I climbed on the trampoline with you kids and started jumping. My energy lasted about three minutes before I called it quits. But I love sitting on a trampoline while everyone else is jumping. It’s part of the fun. Just bouncing.

You came and sat next to me, excited about our moment of sitting on the trampoline together. Your enthusiasm died in about 30 seconds.

“Everyone stop jumping,” you commanded. “Me and mommy are trying to sit.”

No one even noticed your fussing. They just kept jumping.

You sat with your back straighter, trying not to move but found it impossible with six other kids bouncing you all over the place.

“Bella, if you don’t like bouncing, then get off the trampoline,” I said.

“I just wanna’ bounce by myself,” you said.

But you can’t. If you sit down on a trampoline, and there’s no one else on it, then you won’t bounce. It takes other people to make you bounce. But you can’t control which way you go.

Just like life. There’s no bouncing by yourself, Bella. It takes others in life. And when you involve other people, you can’t always control where you bounce. Or how high you fly. Or how hard you fall.

I’ve noticed you often pull away when you don’t think you can control something. But a life full of other people is worth it. Even when you can’t control the bounce.

Don’t get off the trampoline. And don’t try to bounce by yourself.

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