We need monkey bars she said to me as we pushed the kids on the swings in our backyard one evening. The sun was slowly accelerating as it headed to the horizon and we were in that magic time of day when things cool down and the day feels full. Like the sensation after eating just the right amount of a delicious meal.
Yeah daddy, we need monkey bars the two little monkeys echoed as they swung rhythmically back and forth on the bars like pendulums on a clock. Monkey bars! Monkey bars!
I've learned that once my wife and daughters get an idea opened there is no way for me put it back in the box. Like capping an opened fire hydrant or repacking a tent - the contents refuse to be contained. This monkey bar idea was not going to be defused that evening but what if we had monkey bars?
My kids would love the monkey bars, we all enjoy new things. My wife and I lived for years in some of the most beautiful parts of southeast Ohio but rarely ventured out into them. Parts of the state that they put on postcards and people say wow, that's beautiful. We did go hiking through the rolling hills and caves when we first moved there but went more in the first summer and fall than the rest of six years there. Even though the trees weren't any less beautiful - in fact they were more-so because they had grown and become more magnificent - we spent less time in their beauty. Our kids do this too. They have countless dolls and other stuffed toys to play with, but certain toys rarely get used. However, similar toys elsewhere become something that can't be ignored.
It would be the same with monkey bars. If we had this it would be something the kids would love and use but their appreciation for it would soon falter because that's what happens to people, even those pretending to be monkeys.
Once we begin enjoying the fancier things in life it becomes harder to enjoy the simple things. Our backyard playset is more than simple. It's actually quite grand and monkey bars are not the answer. There is an easy addition though. Something much greater than monkey bars that will give longer lasting memories - me. You. Mom and Dad running around with them. Playing tag and chase and being a monster under the bridge. When people say it's the simple things in life, that's what they're talking about - you and your little monkeys.