As I listen to the man pack up the jump house outside my window, I realize that I've never before had a jump house in my backyard. And the one day I do, it's not for me.
My mom ordered the jump house for a retirement party she was hosting (not hers), so that her coworkers' kids could have some fun. The upstairs study windows were slid wide open, and as I chained myself to the computer, working on college applications, the sounds of children squealing, laughing, playing, and crying floated up to where I sat, like a mocking, whispered reminder of lost years, and God, did I feel old.
I did go in the jump house, later, when everyone had left and it was dark outside, just to see what it felt like-- but I only stayed for a minute before I remembered the work I had left to do. And besides, being in the jump house by myself just didn't feel quite right.