Monday, February 23, 2009

beware of birthday parties

Watch out! It must be birthday party season around here. Each kid has been invited to two. Not only am I scouring the shelves at Target looking for deals, but I'm also having to get out my glasses to read the birthday party... waivers.

We had a short, postcard sized one about a bouncy place. Ok, got that covered. The next one was similar. Again, I'm ok with anything ice and bandages can probably fix. Then came the rock climbing party. It arrived with a two page, small typed "Waiver of Liability; Indemnification Agreement and Covenant Not To Sue".

Much, much later, I read, "I, the undersigned user, agree to release and, on behalf of myself, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators and assigns, HEREBY DO RELEASE xxx, its owners, shareholders, officers, directors, employees and agents...including but not limited to the negligence of xxx.... including, but not limited to death or paralysis..." If I'm ok with this, then my kid can go celebrate his buddy's birthday.

Now, to be perfectly honest, it is pretty unlikely that Pook will even attempt to climb a rock wall higher than five feet. But he might. And so if I'm going to allow him to celebrate one of his best friends' birthdays, I have to acknowledge that they probably have good lawyers writing up that long, long Waiver of Liability; Indemnification Agreement and Covenant Not To Sue, and I really have to agree to be responsible myself.

What happened to good old running around in a back yard until someone fell and scraped a knee, and then eating cake?


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