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Farewell, Open Gym: We Loved Ye Well

Yesterday was our last open gym until next
fall, and unbeknownst to Maddie, her last one for longer than that.
Since she’ll be going to school on Wednesdays beginning in
September, she’ll no longer be around for that weekly
Trampolinepalooza; it’ll be just me and Cora while Maddie
slaves away at her ABC’s.

And while I did tell Maddie it was the last open gym for the
summer, I didn’t explain to her about the fall –
I’m way too much of a coward for that. So as far as
she’s concerned, we simply waved goodbye to the indoor
playground for the duration of swimming season.

We invited friends and tried to make a big
day of it, and I do believe the girls squeezed every quarter out of
the entry fee on their farewell tour. They bounced endlessly on the
trampolines, swung repetitively on the trapeze, raced frenetically
up and down the balance beams, circled meditatively on the rope
swing, and tousled maniacally in the foam pit. Boy, did my girls
play hard.

I love it when we have friends come, because we can play some zone
coverage then. One mom takes the trampolines, one mom takes the
trapeze, and so on. Every once in a while I do a room-wide head
count – seven kids? Yes? Excellent – and go back to my
little area. And sometimes, when God is really good, the zone
coverage collides and two moms get to chat while a passel of
puppies – er, girls – play together in the foam pit.

It’s not as if we’re going to be absent from the gym
for the next three months: Maddie’s birthday party is there
this weekend; she’s got another party to attend there in a
couple weeks; she’s doing gym camp; and lest that not be
enough, her swim lessons are there as well. But in some way,
it’s definitely the end of an era: next fall, Cora will be
flying solo, no longer the little sister tagging along but the
whole show. Wednesdays won’t be burned firmly in the family
mind as Open Gym Day – Change At Your Peril. We’ll have
to downplay the whole thing so Maddie doesn’t feel as if
she’s missing out, and I confess, I’m going to miss
those pigtails bouncing up and down on that yellow trampoline.

So as corny as it sounds, I have to acknowledge the ending of an
era, the passing of a stage. My babies are growing up, and open gym
will never be the same.


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