Saturday, October 17, 2009

My next door neighbors are having a birthday party for their 5-year-old daughter. A giant jumpy shaped like a castle arrived just as Kyle left for his PSAT, early this morning.

My early morning haze was quickly broken by screams of delight. I can hear their little voices echoing across our shared lagoon. It is a pleasant sound.

My 13-year-old hopped on my bed.

"You hate jumpies, don't you?"

He knew how much I hated those wretched, germ infested contraptions. I would wait for hours as endless streams of snotty-nosed kids piled into their sacred space. I would listen to their heavy breath , as they bumped, jumped, and tumbled in castles, dragons, and monsters all over Marin County. Inevitably somebody would have to be dragged out crying and screaming for one reason or another. Someone would either get hurt, tired, hit, or sick. Oh, the jumpy! I don't miss the jumpy. But now I get to worry about car rides and concerts, late night parties and drinking. But I wouldn't want to go back to the day of the jumpy. I'll take my new life thank you very much!

But, tonight at 5:00 when all the children leave the party my son was hired to babysit their two children. My 13-year-old was not invited to the birthday party, but hired to babysit. How strange! He is going to be responsible to two kids under the age of five.

Where did the time go?

We ran into Will's kindergarten teacher yesterday. Ironically, she is now teaching our birthday girl next door. Will barely recognized her. It felt like yesterday to me.

This evening when Will goes next door, he will bring his homework to do if he ever gets the kids to sleep.

I will be on call because one of the kids is still in diapers. I don't know if Will has the strength to change a dirty diaper. I can see him gagging as he tries to wipe the little boy's bottom. I can actually see him throwing up as the two little kids look on.

"Mommy, our baby sitter barfed! Isn't that cool?"

Will is too smart for that. He will just call me to come over and change the diaper. And I will go.

No, I don't think I miss the days of jumpies and diapers. I'm OK listening to the happy sounds across the lagoon.

But how will it feel when Will has left home and Tom and I are alone in our own little castle? Maybe I will suggest that we jump on the beds until we puke. Tom will know then that I have finally lost my mind.

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