FranklyStein: It takes a trampoline

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We gave our kids a trampoline for Christmas.

The hope was to get them away from the screens and out of the house. And while I still have to unplug them, and kick them out half the time, the trampoline has been a real boon for the whole neighborhood. At any given time there’s an asortment of neighborhood kids on the tramp ranging in age from 4 to 15–and it’s not unusual to see the 4-year-old out there jumping with the 15-year-old.

One night we came home after dark to find a neighbor jumping all by himself in his full ice hockey pads. Another time I found our 15-year-old neighbor, Caitlyn, her friend, my 13-year-old daughter, and the 4-year-old from across the street, all laying on the trampoline pretending to be alseep.

They’ve been out in the snow wearing plastice bags over their socks to keep dry. They’ve jumped in freezing temperatures with gusting winds. Often there’s a line of kids waiting for a turn on the tramp. Sometimes there are tears and fights over whose turn it is, but for the most part, they’ve worked out a system. It’s been pretty amazing.

Here’s some shots I’ve taken over the last few weeks.


Here’s my oldest, Maggie, and my youngest, Jonah, with the neighbor, Nick, on a freezing cold day. They all have about 5 pairs of socks on. They coordinated that move.

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Our 4-year-old neighbor, Anikah, and her friend stop by for a late afternoon jump.

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Our 14-year-old neighbor, Tyler, and his friend have no reservations about sharing their jump time with 4-year-old Nathan, from across the street. Nathan loves being launched into the air by the older kids. Notice the pile of stuff next to the net door. I’ve started a lost and found bin with all the shoes, mittens, hats and balls that have been left at the house this winter.

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And when the big boys are gone, all Nathan needs is a trusty Nerf gun to make the jump more fun.

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And every now and then, when it’s all quiet on the trampoline front, I sneak out for a little jumping myself.

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family1-1-23FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 13, Lilly, 11, Adam, 11, and Jonah, 7.

Photo by Dawn Kearney