Saturday night, our family went bowling.
Unremarkable, I’m sure in hundreds of towns across the country. Heck, maybe even around the world. We did go after 9:00, which is normally bedtime, so it was unusual for us. At that time of day, the bowling alley hosts “extreme bowling,” a sensual feast of rock music, flashing disco lights in the dark, with horrendous bright day-glo planets pasted everywhere. Probably 200 men, women and children were in the building, laughing, yelling, drinking, smoking and bowling.
I explained to the harried woman at the desk that we had special children and convinced her to put up the gutter barriers. (I was hoping at least that way I could break 100. The kids are fine.) Everyone got their shoes and proceeded into the madness.
Little Miss got to be first. I’m observing her carefully this whole time, because three years ago in a scene like this, she would have been under the chairs in a fetal position, hands tight on her ears. I know, because she did this at the Disney race car special effects show. Other parents stared. She peeked out every once in awhile to check the action, but she was fine there. No meltdown, no tears, just pained tolerance for her silly NT family.
Saturday, though, she thrilled to toss her ball down the lane, jumped up and down when she scored, came back, smiling, to high-five everyone, and insisted between turns that both Papa and I dance to the music with her. She paid attention to her brothers’ efforts and applauded them, high-fived them as well. When I tried to sneak in a math lesson, asking her who had the biggest score, she just gave me a look like “It’s so not a school day.”
Captain O., of course was strutting his Aspielicious self, interrupting most attempts by others to bowl with, “Did you see MY score?” But he had a good time. I tried to show him the somewhat proper form for walking to release the ball–he preferred a stutter step to the edge of the lane and the dropped bomb that crashes onto the wood. Oddly he scored higher like that. Good enough for me.
Ditto Boy is such a drama queen! He would get his ball, back up to the edge and run some 20 baby steps to the edge of the lane to fling the ball with enough force, I swear he should have been propelled halfway down the lane with it. I could see my husband wincing as he thought the same thing. After releasing the ball, D.B. would skitter back and watch, then prostrate himself in agony or spring up and down in glee, depending. Where’s those ABC Sports guys when you need them?
But he did roll three strikes in a row. Awesome. We’ve got to keep an eye on that boy.
All in all, a satisfying outing, followed with ice cream sundaes at Perkins. Watching them interacting like any other batch of siblings in the place, I considered my pathetic bowling score, still lower than everyone else’s. But, somehow, I feel like I won.
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