Bowling Alleys are for Kids

Our local public schools have been on spring break this week. Because I'm superintendent, principal, and teacher of the CupRunnethOver School, I called it spring break, too. We needed a break.

We spent one morning at the bowling alley with friends. It was the boys' first attempt at this sport, so you know I had my camera handy.

You know it's spring break, when the parking lot is full of mini vans and the bowling alley is full of screaming kids. As luck would have it, we were placed on lane 34. We weren't there 5 minutes, when the lady from lane 35 said to me, "I don't know why they put kids next to our league, but could you please keep your kids back by the chairs each time we play? I have kids and all, but we're a league ya' know."

I would love to tell you that I smiled and said, "Why, yes, dear old lady, I'd be happy to keep the children out of your way. Please tell me when it's okay for us to resume playing."

Instead, I glared at her. I did not have nice words to say to her, but I said them in my head, since my children were present and I'm trying to leave ugly words in my BC (Before Children) days.

Then, I turned to my friend and said, "Did you hear her?!" She did, and she had to fight the same ugly words, too.

My friend was a little quicker on her feet and went to request a new lane. A lane not beside uptight league players. A lane beside other mamas and kids who understand the pure excitement of first-time bowlers under the age of 6.

Let the bowling begin!

It was fun to watch my boys' personalities shine through bowling.

Garrett, my boy who is timid with new experiences, needed me to walk with him for his first few attempts. This perfectionist also took great time in squatting down "just so". His athleticism served him well, and he enjoyed the game.
I wish I were that limber still!

Liam has never been shy a moment in his life. He has always attacked new situations with a level of excitement that is contagious. Attack is exactly how he approached the bowling alley. He picked up his ball and took off running to reach his perfect speed.
Once he reached the point of no return, he dropped to the ground and hurled the ball more like a baseball.
Jack is our middle child, and he approaches new situations somewhere between Liam's vigor and Garrett's shyness. He's not afraid of new ideas, but he'd rather sit back and watch for a while. I walked him up to the lane and explained that he would need to swing the ball between his legs and let it go.
Because he could hardly pick up the ball, it took 5 minutes for the ball to make its destination. Did you know that present-day bowling alleys have radars to give you the speed of your ball? Did you know that a ball travelling at 1.2mph will take 5 minutes to reach the pins? Did you know that 1.2mph x 5 minuutes x 20 frames = a really long time?

Never fear, Jack was not discouraged. While he waited, he gave us a jig or two. He loved those shoes. "Mommy, they're like dance shoes!"
Of course, I made the brothers pose. The day wouldn't be complete without a posed, affectionate picture.
They do love each other. Sometimes it shows in the form of affection. Other times it is shown in a good, ol' wrestling match. But for the bowling alley, they were cooperative.

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