A trampoline's profound importance
Kat talks about the importance of a trampoline in her life and the memories she's made in her special place.
I was eight years old when I awoke on Christmas day to find that Santa had gifted me what would be known as my special place. When my twin sister and I tore open the red and green paper we found a box twice our size filled with disassembled parts and an instruction manual: it was a trampoline!
We ecstatically ran out of the house to set up our new toy and immediately tried to connect the mismatched pieces as our mom tediously (and somewhat futilely) read out the printed directions. When it was finally together, we played for hours, enjoying classic games like Pop the Popcorn and attempting (and failing at) flips. We were completely in love with our newfound toy.
Braving the cold, armed with our warmest fuzzy socks, we brought our meals out to the trampoline to have picnics. On New Year’s Eve, we giggled, hoping that our piece of Yia Yia’s freshly baked koulourakia bread contained the lucky coin that, according to superstition, grants the finder good luck for a full year.
Even in the snow, the trampoline was our fort away from the house, a place entirely our own.
As we grew older, the trampoline never lost this quality as a place of complete comfort. My sister and I, along with our friends, gathered there at sleepovers. Sitting in the middle of the trampoline, ignoring the weight limit, we gossiped about our first crushes and played Truth or Dare. I would frequently escape to the trampoline to jam out to Selena Gomez and Adele. The broom we used for sweeping the trampoline became my microphone as I fantasized I was a famous singer. Out of breath from the exhausting songs, dances, and summer sun, sometimes I would accidentally fall asleep, only to be awakened shortly by my sister jumping and shining a flashlight in my face.
By the end of middle school, the trampoline was covered in books. It became a place where I would listen to the birds chirping, feel the wind and sun, and completely enter the fantasy world of the book I was reading. Every Christmas and holiday, all I wanted was a Barnes and Noble gift card so I could sift through every book in the teen section, and read it on my trampoline. I got to know Mrs. Braithwaite, our school librarian, very well, as I checked out new books every other day.
When I started tracking meteor showers, the trampoline was entirely covered with sleeping bags and pillows for a campout. I would run in at 1:00 am to wake my sister so she could join me. We bundled up and tried to stay awake as we waited to see just one, rare shooting star.
Even now, as I enter young adulthood, I still go out to the trampoline to be in a place I can call my own. The trampoline has served many different purposes. It has been a gathering place, a place to spread out textbooks and study, and most recently, it was a haven for completing college applications.
Even though the ways I use the trampoline have changed, it retains the same purpose as a place I have gone to explore my interests or just indulge in a calm moment.