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Hill Country Living

Warm Christmas Weather Was Good For Swimming, Jumping On Trampoline 

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and/or holiday season. It seemed a typical southern Christmas here in the Valley where the rain and leaves fall like snow. It was a bit warmer than usual. My kids were barefooted all day and I know some folks who went swimming. But other than that, totally normal. 

In the past several years here, though, we have been pretty lucky in the snow department. It snows at some point almost every year in Water Valley.

That’s definitely not the case growing up in west central Georgia. There was a flurry one day when I was in kindergarten. They let us leave class and go out on the playground to see the flurries. The snow was so weak that it was more like cloud dandruff and the pinpoint white dots were immediately melting upon impact with the ground, if they made it that far at all. 

My little fellow classmates and I all stood there not quite knowing what one does in the “snow.” Our teacher had to tell us to flap our arms and say “Yaaay!” We all did. It wasn’t convincing. We all went back in after a minute or two because it was cold and nobody owned gloves.

It snowed again in high school. All I remember is that there was enough snow accumulated on the hood of my dad’s van that I managed to make an eight-inch tall snowman. I also remember that I was wearing socks on my hands with bread sacks over them because, again, no gloves. This is apparently a recurring theme in my life. Somebody buy me some gloves!

Well, the Christmas day warm weather in Water Valley worked out really well for my kids because they got a trampoline. Although I’m sure they still would have jumped all day on their new trampoline were it placed on the South Pole instead of off South Main. 

Santa Claus was supposed to be the one who brought the trampoline to our house. But considering the fact that one day a couple weeks before Christmas I pulled up into my driveway with my kids in the car and Santa had already delivered two massive boxes to my front porch, both marked TRAMPOLINE in huge black letters across the front, the trampoline now had to be from Mama. 

And despite the fact that the kids clearly read the boxes and even ripped one open to actually view what was clearly trampoline parts inside, I somehow managed to brainwash them into thinking it was a mattress. I just told them it was a new mattress and referred to it as “the new mattress” enough times until they believed me. I worked a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes on them. As in, “If y’all don’t stop running through the house I swear to God I am going to donate that new mattress to more deserving children.” 

The boys would scream,”Nooo, Mama!! Not the new mattress! Please, Mama, nooo! We’ll be good! Anything but the mattress!” They never questioned why a new mattress would come in two boxes. I was hoping they wouldn’t as I had no plan for that question. I would have to think off the cuff which is how I got into the whole mattress farce in the first place. 

We all knew it was a trampoline. But to keep their Christmas morning surprise alive, I pretended it was a mattress and to spare my feelings of having my big gift blown, they pretended it was.

The power of love and mind is a grand thing. Because on Christmas morning our boys were truly surprised when they walked out the back door and saw a trampoline. The youngest one literally leaped a distance of 10 feet from the back stoop to the trampoline and was immediately laugh-screaming and continued this for the next hundred hours. My oldest boy stood at the back door stunned for a solid minute before asking me to lift him up on the trampoline. The look on my face told his nine year-old self that he was going to be responsible for that portion of this deal.

My boys jumped and jumped for hours, in the warm and humid December fog. Gallons of accumulated rainwater flew up into the air off the surface of the trampoline every time their bare feet landed, creating sudden little reverse rainstorms that would never reach the sky. The water, my boys, the heat, all of it…bound to Earth. But moving through the air anyway. Nobody missed the snow. Nobody missed the mattress.

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