The curse takes effect — let the gloating begin

For centuries, or so I hear, mothers have placed upon the heads of their daughters The Curse. I'm talking about the doom and damnation of sorts that mothers pass along to their daughters, swearing that once they have children of their own, they will surely get their due for all the drama, trauma and heartache they once put their mothers through.

The Curse is such a cliché.

Well shiver me timbers and consider me cliché, for I've uttered The Curse many a time—and I now gloat about seeing it in action.

When my girls were young, we had a trampoline. A big, round, bouncy gateway to injury and potential paralysis. My family had a trampoline when I was a kid and it was such fun that my youngest sister tried to convince me I simply had to provide similar fun for my daughters, despite the dangers. In 1992, I succumbed to her peer pressure. We got a trampoline. Despite the dangers.

As the dangers of a trampoline were many and my imagination expounded upon all of them, always and in all ways, I spent a lot of my time cringing and wringing my hands while my daughters jumped with joy. They did seats, stomachs, knees, seat and stomach wars, and—ohmyohmy!—front flips, back flips, and swan dives. I trembled with fear and anxiety each time they climbed up on the frame, removed their shoes, and proceeded to jump.

My fear and anxiety multiplied each time the girls invited friends over to jump. It was assuaged a bit—at least the fear Jim and I would be sued by parents of kiddos who had jumped right over the edge and onto their necks, leaving them paralyzed for life—by my requirement that every single child who did not belong to me have a permission slip signed by a parent before they even considered stepping foot on the mat. My daughters often whined and complained about having to hand out the slips to friends they invited over, to which I recited the dangers of the <cuss> thing and how kind and awesome of me it was to even allow such a death trap on my property and that they darn well better appreciate that and abide by my one simple rule regarding permission slips if they want to ever jump again themselves, much less with friends.

Yes, I was a paranoid parent. Allowing my daughters—and their friends—to jump on the trampoline took every ounce of restraint I had as well as never-ending lectures to myself on the importance of letting kids be kids. But I did it. I survived it. And so did they—despite my fears, my worries, my visions of daughters in wheelchairs or worse simply because I allowed my kids to be kids.

Fast forward to this past weekend.

Megan, Preston, and my grandsons moved into a new house over the weekend. They originally considered finding a rental that included a swimming pool (a pretty common commodity in their part of the desert) which worried me like mad thinking of all the ways such a feature could be fatal for Bubby and Baby Mac. Luckily Megan and Preston settled on a place that had no pool. Instead, the back yard features a full-size trampoline built into the ground.

Naturally the idea of the trampoline worries me nearly as much as a swimming pool. At this point I'm not too concerned about whether Megan requires permission slips for Bubby's friends, I'm concerned about Bubby himself. (Thankfully Baby Mac is not yet old enough to be on the trampoline. Or he sure as heck better not be allowed on it yet. Note to self: Ask Megan about that.)

Turns out I don't need to be all that concerned about Bubby's safety. Because despite all the times Megan, as a pre-teen and teen, complained—in unison with her sisters, of course—and told me to "calm down" or "stop freaking out" when my trampoline paranoia reached fever pitch, she finally gets it. How do I know? Because Saturday, just after she and Preston first introduced Bubby to the trampoline (and attempted a few tricks of their own as examples), Megan called me to say: "I can't believe you let us do the things we did on the trampoline, Mom."

In her voice and between the lines, the worry, fear, concern, trepidation, and unspoken WTF did we get ourselves into? was unmistakable. Call me mean but it was music to my ears.

The Curse had finally gone into effect.

And I'm not one bit ashamed to admit that so has the gloating.

I suppose tempering the gloating would be the proper tack at this point, though, so as to not tempt fate. For I'm headed to the desert later this week to babysit Bubby and Baby Mac while Megan and Preston attend a conference, and the request has been made that I help Bubby learn a thing or two on the trampoline while Mom and Dad are away.

I'm thinking I might need to write up a permission slip for Megan and Preston to sign before they hit the road and leave me in charge of Bubby's trampoline use. Just in case. I've never heard of any guarantee that, once enacted, The Curse won't backfire.

Today's question:

Describe ways you've seen The Curse in effect—whether it was placed by you or upon you.