Skip to main content

Lisa’s Lines

I wanted a unicycle.
I was 10 years old and wanted nothing else—just a unicycle.
I begged for one for my birthday. Begged.
I cut a picture of one out of a magazine and dreamed of riding the darn thing around my driveway.
I would have been so cool.
But, instead, I got a pogo stick.
My parents were “concerned” I’d severely injure myself learning how to ride a unicycle, but for some reason… a pogo stick was “just fine” in their minds.
I was not pleased when I unwrapped the pogo stick.
An awesome, single-wheeled cycle I could ride down the street and a lame, one-pole bouncing thing ARE NOT THE SAME.
I remember staring at the dumb purple pogo stick, thinking, “Why? Why would they give me this?”
But, I had been properly schooled in how to graciously receive all gifts (even bad ones), so I smiled and thanked my parents, holding out hope that my grandparents would give me what what I really wanted.
Not one of my gifts was a unicycle.
I was super bummed, and like any scorned 10-year-old, I moped around for a few days and refused to even take that stupid pogo stick out of its stupid box.
But, the boredom that builds during the long, lazy summer days eventually got to me.
I removed the pogo stick from its box and dragged it outside (still despising it because it wasn’t a unicycle).
I held the bright green handlebars in front of me and hopped up with both feet onto the contraption’s two foot pegs… and almost immediately, I tipped over.
Learning how to pogo wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.
Granted, I knew learning how to unicycle was going to be a challenge, but that is what made it cool in my mind. I would have figured it out, and I would have been the only kid on my street, in my class, and possibly in my whole entire school who could unicycle.
I could picture myself riding on one wheel in talent shows, parades, and randomly showing off cool new skill to people everywhere.
But, my parents squashed my ambitions and tried to appease me with a dumb jumping stick.
As my mental grumbling continued, I continued to try pogo sticking.
There was nothing else to do.
Jump on. Fall off. Jump on. Tip over. Jump on. Bounce once. Fall off.
The more I tried and failed, the more frustrated and determined I became to master the darn thing!
By the end of that summer, I pogoed like a pro.
I’d bounce back and forth on the driveway, down the road, and through obstacle courses I’d make for myself. I was good.
Of course, a big factor driving my pogo sticking proficiency was my underlying hope I’d prove myself worthy—and capable—of earning a unicycle.
My parents never saw it that way.
They remained anti-unicycle (and obviously I’m still a bit bitter about it).
So, when my 8-year-old child begged for an oh-so-cool ninja warriors ropes course for the backyard… I eagerly bought it, wrapped it, and was thrilled watching her open it! She’s pumped for spring to come so we can set it up and she can start “training.”
I think it will be a really cool activity, which will ultimately improve her strength, agility, and health. (However, my parents might never let me live it down if she gets injured on it.)
The funny thing is, the ninja course was her second item on her wish list.
Her #1 wish was a zip line, which would have been SO cool! But, her daddy—my husband—grounded that “dangerous” idea. Gosh darn, fun haters.
(But, maybe—just maybe—that daredevil Easter Bunny will bring a zip line… Shhhh…)