If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I needed a drink on Tuesday night. And I’m not talking about coffee. I took Philip bowling that evening. It was a Cub Scout outing that included fourteen Tigers and Bears (oh my!) and a half dozen siblings.
If we were having coffee, I’d kvetch that we were instructed to arrive by 6:45 pm. This was fifteen minutes earlier than our usual meeting time but it made sense since we were doing some fun and different. I dutifully arrived with Philip as did most of the other families. Unfortunately, the leader decided to give the missing scouts until 7:00 pm to begin.
If we were having coffee, I would confess that this really annoyed me. Philip wanted to start bowling as soon as we arrived. It’s challenging to verbally explain to him why we had to wait. Of course, many of the other boys were equally impatient to start.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my headache began long before we reached the lanes. Since the boys were earning belt loops for this outing, there were handouts and an overview of bowling. I get that. Unfortunately, we were not the only people at the bowling alley. There were league members, a group having a party and the general public. Music was playing, pins were falling and announcements over the PA. The den leader had to yell for the boys to hear her. Philip was busy looking at the ceiling and I tuned out, too.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we FINALLY lined up to get shoes at ten after seven. Then there was chaos as the boys were divided between the lanes. Then their names had to be entered into the scoring system. Philip, frustrated by the delay, threw my shoe. I had to send another scout to locate and retrieve it because I was sure that Philip might attempt to throw a bowling ball if left unattended.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that had to accompany Philip every time it was his turn. We had gone bowling when he was on winter break, and his efforts were erratic. He aimed for other lanes and bowled perpendicular to the lane. On Tuesday, it was way too crowded to let him repeat these shenanigans. That’s how I ended up being the only adult with the boys and one girl in Philip’s lane. Many of the other parents sat back to chat or bowled a few lanes down.
If we were having coffee, I’d admit that my tolerance for spending time with elementary-aged kids has lowered significantly since I stopped teaching. I had forgotten how loud they can be. Even though Philip is perpetually in motion, I’m not used to have more than one kid darted around. Add in the fact they were carrying bowling balls and you can imagine how my eye began to twitch.
If we were having coffee, I’d confess that, absent any available adults, I recruited one of Philip’s den mates to take a photo. I can’t hold the camera and steer Philip at the same time, so I needed another set of hands. Bless his heart, the boy did a couple of great practice shots of the girl bowling in our lane, but he never managed to push the button far enough to take one of Philip. That’s why my only photos do not include a single bowling ball.
If we were having coffee, I’d assure you that Philip calmed down once he started bowling. He waited for his turn and didn’t do anything too outrageous with the bowling ball. I had taught him to roll the bowl by setting it down and pushing with two hands since he was a bit wild trying to release it from his fingers. Meanwhile, every other child used the traditional grip and release. Well, “traditional” may be overstating things. I cringed every time the one boy threw the ball. I was sure it was going to sail over the divider into the next lane. The enthusiastic efforts were even louder than usual since the balls slammed onto the wood.
If we were having coffee, you would have already figured out how happy I was to see the tenth frame arrive. We changed into our street shoes and got the hell out of there.
If we were having coffee, I’d lament that I had no liquor at home. These boys had bowled me to drink. I had to content myself with a Tylenol PM.
If we were having coffee, I’d share this song with you as part of my Musical March. Seems appropriate, don’t you think?