January 11, 2009

A chip off some block

It's been a weekend full of birthdays for the Henderson boys. Andrew was invited to two parties at his favorite celebration destination, the Gymnastics Academy. It has been the site of his own most recent parties and I don't think he would ever tire of it.

Yesterday's party was for one of his current classmates who was turning five. This crowd was comprised of mature four-year-olds through five-year-old kids and Andrew was the oldest one there, as he's the oldest in his class. The mood was fairly mellow and the wildest manuever of the afternoon was Andrew's as he decided to do a swan dive at the top of the enormous inflatable slide rather than just sit down and slide like his friends. He drew a few gasps from the parental crowd but it was a fairly safe move, as those sort of things go.

Today's crowd was a different, more mature one and the bar was definitely raised on the daredevil front. This party was for a school friend who is now in Kindergarten and he could NOT have been more delighted to be invited. You'll recall that when we made the decision not to send him to Kingergarten we underestimated how much he was going to miss this posse of kids, who had been together at school from the time they were infants. Reuniting at someplace like gymnastics was pretty exciting for him and some of his buddies, with whom he wasn't known for making the very best of choices.

Andrew's favorite thing at the Gymnastics Academy is always to jump into the foam pit. You can either jump off the giant trampoline, drop from a parallel bar or jump off a springboard and land in a huge pit of foam blocks. It's endless entertainment. Today's birthday girl has been taking gymnastics this fall and decided to wow everyone with her newfound ability to do a front flip into the pit after taking off from the springboard. I had the pleasure of standing next to her mom when she did it, and her mom was as surprised as anyone. The kids were all pretty impressed and that just assured that she was going to flip again and again and again.

About five minutes later I was standing on the other side of the pit, watching Thomas who was there as a courtesy to the birthday girl's little brother. All of a sudden, the birthday girl's dad was yelling my name and laughing hysterically. He asked if I had just been watching Andrew, which I hadn't, and said that Andrew needed to get another turn so I could see what he had done. You've probably already guessed that he had landed a front flip as if he'd been doing it all his life. As the afternoon progressed his flip progressed into a midair layout-style twist that landed dramatically about two body lengths from where he started, everytime.

As the flipping and flopping portion of the party was wrapping up, the birthday girl's mom suggested that she suspects we might become familiarized with the ER at some point in Andrew's daredevil youth. She asked if I had been like this as a child, which is of course totally comical. He's definitely a chip off some block, but it's not this one!


Stephanie said...

Gene pools are a funny thing...can I get some credit for this awesome maneuver?!

Rosemary said...

Please say you got pictures of this daredevil maneuver. What a hoot! I can just see the look on Andrew's face as he thought about it and then decided to do it. What a thrill he must have gotten with the response from all his longtime friends...and the parents. Way to go, Andrew!!!

Kate and Dennis said...

I can almost picture the Evel Knievel look in his eyes as he did this!