Take a good look at these photos.
Countless adults have jumped on our trampoline. My good friend Krist just did a full front flip for the first time in his life here, at 47 years of age. My three 60-something uncles-in-law, who grew up in China and never jumped on a trampoline in their lives, worked on their knee-drops here a few weeks ago.
At least a half dozen adults have climbed to the roof of our playhouse. We get a huge rush from swinging and sliding. Many of us have run ourselves ragged playing chase games with kids here. I also know of a few adults who have really gotten into drawing on our outdoor white boards, exploring a creative side of themselves that had laid dormant for decades.
Of course, my objective in renovating our yard is to provide a wonderful life of everyday play for kids, but all this adult fun and joy is a very welcome unintended consequence.
I realize now that our yard is better than common yards for adults and kids. In other words, even if we didn’t have kids, our yard would be wonderful for our adult guests and us. Yes, most adults come to our yard with the intention of watching kids play, but something instinctual happens to pretty much all of them when they get here. We forget for a moment that we’re boring kid managers and we become kids again alongside the little ones.
I know it’s an evil thought, but sometimes I daydream that my wife and I have sent away our kids for a few days and are hosting a blowout all-day party here with just grown-up friends of ours. Remember those?
When I snap back to reality, though, I must admit to myself that our life even without that blowout adult party is pretty darned good. Most days, our kids are joyously buzzing around with other kids here. My wife and I get to laugh and run with them a few times a week. And at least once or twice a week, adult friends come over, usually with their kids, and end up playing like crazy.
Look again at all those smiles again in those photos. It’s a very good life.