The Need to Jump


This was the final week of the winter session’s gymnastics class. (NASTICS!)

We’ll be going back next round. Because Destroy is a big fan. Search seems like he could take it or leave it. (The ever adorable Coach Teresa deemed Search “a good listener” and Destroy “very enthusiastic.” Yeah, I can read between the lines too.) But where else could Destroy hurl himself off raised beams and yell, “Mommy! I’m up high!”

Oh right. At home.

I’ve been trying to encourage the little ones to enjoy gymnastics. Because I’m all about the extracurricular activities that burn excess tiny person energy. I am also attempting to simultaneously teach them that the couch is not a pommel horse, the staircase railings are not the uneven bars, the bed is not a trampoline and the light fixtures are not the rings.

I am failing.

Last night I heard Jon utter, “Gee, how could this end poorly?”

Destroy had found the giant box (used to ship a single plastic trash can – but I digress because my rant about that is an entirely separate blog post) and was excitedly taking flying leaps from the cardboard structure half his height.


Saner minds stepped in and removed the collapsible death trap from the equation. So Destroy employed his frustratingly well-developed logical reasoning skills and took to the stairs. He jumped from the first stair.

Ever so pleased with himself, he gracefully bent his knees and launched himself into the air – sticking the landing and popping back up with a grandiose TADA as practiced in gym class.

When I looked back, he was proudly standing on the second step.


Yeah, no. I knew where this was going – slowly, but surely, my little daredevil would increase his step challenge by an additional stair. How high could he get? How many steps could he clear. Trial and error baby! Eventually we would end up in the ER.

How could I be so certain of what would occur? Because the apple does not fall far from the tree. And I have played this game before.

I was in elementary school. My family had a four-level condo in the San Bernardino mountains. My brother and I were passing the time by doing precisely what Destroy was engaged in. (Other than being older and allegedly knowing better.)

There were 12 stairs on this particular flight. (Between levels 2 and 3 if you’re looking for specifics.) Six stairs cleared! Success! Next challenge!

I stood at the top – staring down each of the dozen steps. I had this.

I jumped.

This leap was going to be EPIC.

It was.

And it was, because approximately eight steps down was a structural support beam. I leapt. And two-thirds of the way through my flight, I encountered said structural support beam head on. Literally.

I went down. Straight down. Like a 65-pound dead weight.

In the days long before Twitter, I was seeing serious birdies. Fully concussed.

I spent the remainder of that weekend sitting in the marigold-upholstered spinney chair, dazed and confused. Mom wouldn’t let us resume our personal challenge.

I survived to meet my next concussion years later. (No comments from the peanut gallery.) Our present house has 13 stairs.

I’m drawing the line early. At one. And that’s why we’ve signed up for a second session of the supervised rubber room.

(My bet is on a vault specialization.)


Filed under Destroy, Family Stories, Sports

4 Responses to The Need to Jump

  1. Joanne Hamann

    Vault is the coolest

  2. We would slide down the stairs on a pillow.

  3. nicole

    We at least piled the blankets and a couple couch cushions at the bottom…my record was 8 steps before the baby sitter caught us.

  4. Roxy

    Yeah, I remember when I attempted to clear 6 steps.Bad landing.Broken foot.3 weeks with a cast. My desire
    to clear steps was cured.

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