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Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

October 20, 2017

Ten little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and broke his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more, monkeys jumping on the bed.”

Nine little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and broke his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more, monkeys jumping on the bed.”

It’s one of the first songs our kids learn. There are other nursery rhymes, including one called “I Love My Family” that I wrote, but “Monkeys On The Bed” has always been a favorite.

But, the version that is our life would start with a single one, and then years later a second. Even longer years later a third would join them. Followed quickly by a fourth. And then two years later a fifth and a sixth. And then four jumped up on the bed all at once. And then three more, for a total of 13 little ones jumping on the bed.

They started jumping off soon afterward. The occasions of them leaving were always so hectic and stressful that it hardly seemed like we had time to contemplate the change for us and for them. We are down to seven, although if you count my granddaughter who is staying with us for a while, I guess we are at eight.

Tomorrow, that will change. One more will jump off the bed.

Our son, who is 17 will be moving to stay with his sister and her husband up in Logan. He wants to attend Utah State University next Fall and study engineering. We’ve never been much of a sentimental bunch. And honestly, there will probably be very few tears shed tomorrow, if any.

Maybe it’s because this move has been planned for a while. Maybe it’s because both us and him are ready for the change and looking forward to it. Him, because he no longer wants to be told what to do, when to come in, where he can be. And us for exactly the same reason.

It’s an amicable parting. There are no fights. No shouting. Certainly no police. Just a boy on the verge of becoming a man ready to step out into the big wide world. Is he ready? Of course not. He thinks he is. Will he figure it out? Definately. And on the occasions where he doesn’t, he knows we’re here to offer help and encouragement. That will be hard for him to hear right now. He doesn’t want a thing from us.

He’s never filled out a FAFSA, the federal aid documentation for college. Until you are 21, your parents need to help with the numbers. He’s also on our health insurance. At 17, of course, he’s invincible, but at some point he’ll break a bone, or catch a cough, or something that will send him to a doctor. He’ll need that health card information.

We’ve had his sisters leave home before him. And I’m not so old that I don’t remember the day I walked out of my parents house for the last time as a child.

So, tomorrow, there’ll be one less monkey jumping on our bed. I just hope he doesn’t break his head in the process.

The end

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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