CARTER’S PERFECT DAY
Helen Gibbs Pohlot
It was a bright and crisp autumn morning when Carter’s mom, Lauren, asked him an interesting question.
“Carter, how would you describe your perfect day?
Much like his uncles Bruce and Stephen, Carter was a man of few words, but he gave the question serious thought.
“Hmm,” he said aloud while looking at his mom as she waited patiently for an answer.
“I like to run, play and meet other kids. Oh, and I like snacks too,” Carter said thoughtfully.
Lauren just smiled at her two-and-a-half-year-old son who melted her heart every time she looked at him.
“Well, I have something in mind for us to do today that I think you are going to love,” she said.
“Do you know what a Trampoline Park is?”
“No,” Carter replied. “Is it anything like the little trampoline I have downstairs?”
“Yes, it is very similar except that there is a whole room of trampolines where kids can jump, play and have a fantastic time,” Lauren said.
“How about if we go right after breakfast?”
“Yeah, I can’t wait!” Carter said as he quickly ate his cereal and then jumped down from his chair.
“Can Daddy come too, Mommy?” he asked while grabbing a sweatshirt.
“Maybe he can join us for a few minutes in between clients. I know he has an appointment in the area sometime this morning. We’ll see. I’ll send him a text,” Lauren said.
After a quick goodbye and treat for Roxie, the family dog, Carter and his mom went out the door.
On the short drive over, Carter asked his mom lots of question. He was very excited, thinking that this could turn out to be a great day.
It was toddler morning at the trampoline park. When Carter saw all the children laughing and talking it reminded him of the time he went to the indoor playground with his cousins Mikey and Natalie. He remembered the first time he went down the slide. Sure, it wasn’t his finest moment as he landed flat on his back, but he jumped right up and did it again and again. It was lots of fun.
Carter smiled when he thought of another exciting time with his cousins from Arizona. They all went down a great big slide. Aunt Kathryn held him while his mom held Natalie. Mikey was the oldest so he went down by himself. Carter loved sharing new adventures with his cousins and wished they could go with him to the trampoline park.
The trampoline park was a little different; neither Carter nor his mom knew anyone. Sometimes it is hard when you go in someplace new all by yourself, but Carter never worried, as he made friends easily.
Standing at check-in with their moms, Carter and another boy who introduced himself as Eddie eagerly waited for their chance to join the other jumpers. Each child had their own square. At first Carter was cautious, taking it easy, just getting a feel for it.
“I am going pretty slow,” Carter called to his mom who knew it was only a matter of time before he picked up speed.
Seconds later Carter was in high gear, jumping with all his might.
“I’ve got it now!” Carter yelled as he increased his speed.
“Here I go!”
Carter jumped happily for well over 10 minutes, all the while laughing with the other children jumping in their squares.
Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Carter jumped so high that he landed in the sponge pit, totally out of his square. It was a good three to four feet away, which was remarkable for a two-and-a-half-year-old. The whole room that was edged with parents erupted in applause.
“Wow! Did everyone see how high that little boy can jump?” one of the mother’s exclaimed.
“Oh well, went a little too high on that one,” Carter said humbly as he crawled out of the pit to resume jumping and wave to his supporters.
After a series of successful jumps Carter heard a familiar voice. Carter’s dad Chris stopped by to see him.
“Dad! Watch me, I can jump really high!” Carter yelled to his dad.
“Way to go Carter,” Chris shouted from the parents’ section.
Carter’s parents loved seeing their child having a wonderful time.
“Just watch! He is going to try something special to show off his jumping skills,” Lauren told Chris.
Lauren was right as she beamed with pride.
Shortly afterwards Carter jumped, each time going a little higher. It was about the fifth jump when he decided to show off his newly acquired talent. He positioned himself to jump up and over two squares. Fortunately, there were no kids in the area.
“Up, up and away!” Carter said as he launched upward and landed almost three squares over. While his landing wasn’t as smooth as planned because the blue foam divider got in his way coming down, he was proud that he’d exceeded his expectations. Again, everyone clapped as they watched Carter’s exceptional ability.
“Unbelievable! Lauren, did see that?” Chris exclaimed.
“Great job, Carter,” both Chris and Lauren shouted to their son, who was very proud of his feat.
A short time later Carter’s dad had to go back to work. Carter and his mom enjoyed
a snack, then headed for home and a much-needed nap.
Later that evening, the family went outside for a barbecue and games in the backyard. Everyone enjoyed a good dinner plus family time, which Carter loved.
“Okay little man, it is time to call it a day,” Chris said to his little boy.
“Do I have to go to bed, dad?” Carter asked.
“It’s that time Carter; you need your rest. We have another big day ahead of us tomorrow,” Lauren said.
“OK, if I have to,” Carter replied.
Carter kissed everyone good night. Before closing his eyes, he looked up at his mom and dad. Carter held out his arms for hugs and whispered, “Mommy, you asked me this morning about my perfect day. With you and Daddy every day is a perfect day.”
Good night Carter. We love you!”