The Joy of Five

I’m having one of those rainy-day “I don’t want to get out of bed” mornings, so I’m going to take us back to a Saturday morning a week or so after the fourth of July.

I woke to the faint sound of squeaking springs. Seeing no kids, I tip-toed to the door to see what was going on.

The sun hadn’t come up yet, but there was enough light in the living room for me to see my youngest, five years old at the time, standing on our jogging trampoline. The trampoline is only about four feet across and the kids love to jump and bounce on it.

Not this time, though.

This time, the little guy was standing with his eyes closed, waving two American flags around himself and swaying in time to some music that only he could hear. His mouth was partway open, caught between a smile and a breath.

I snuck back to bed, woke up my wife, and dragged her out to peek. The little guy was still there  swaying, waving, and occasionally spinning. The flex of the trampoline bounced him slightly as he shifted his weight, and the flags fluttered in the dim light.

Suddenly, he opened his eyes and looked at us.

“Um,” I said. “Hi.”

He gave an embarrassed laughed.  “The first one was easier,” he said.

“I believe it,” I said. “But that was pretty great.”

He shrugged and stepped off the trampoline. “I know.”

Why did I take you back there?

Ever since that day, mornings like this one have sorely tempted me to take the two flags I keep stashed in my office and head to the trampoline.

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