Saturday, May 01, 2010
This afternoon was my young nephew, Evan's, bowling center birthday party. It's always an experience for single me to be around a gaggle of six year olds running around uncontrolled like they were all on super sugar highs.
When they act like this the controlling part of me of me wants to scream for order and quiet. But I am not their parents or the center management so unless there is an obvious safety risk, I hold my tongue.
Besides, there are several rules of life I have learned. One is that babies cry. Another is that dogs bark . And a third is that when young kids are together, bedlam reigns at times. I'm ready to add a fourth observation: parents become dulled to the actions of their and others' children so that what bothers me doesn't even merit a second of concern for them because they are more used to the unstructured play than I am.
This time none of the adults bowled which was okay. Gave me a chance to talk to some new acquaintances and to learn of how one, Mark, is a high-rise crane operator, a job that gives me vertigo just thinking about him being 270 feet or more off the ground in a tiny booth. It was interesting to hear that his control cabin has a built-in radio/cd player, mini refrigerator and microwave. Guess it saves time on breaks over making the long climb down and then back up. I assume there is some provision for certain functions that need to be tended to, but I tactfully didn't ask.
Surprisingly, when bowling began, the kids calmed down and were fairly orderly, jumping for joy when their ball knocked down some pins and occasionally got a strike (all pins down with the first shot). They loved the bumpers and never seemed to recognize them as aids. I think they, like the adults, liked to watch the crazy caroms. It was nice, too, to see them innocently bowling solely for fun and not noticing who had a better score.
After their two games were finished, we all had lunch then cake and Evan opened his gifts. Then they descended on the game room, allowing the adults some semblance of quiet. We talked about Robyn being pregnant , played with the little babies on hand, learned about Judy's son's flag football game this morning and all in all shared fairly innocuous conversation with each other.
Finally, it was time to head our separate ways. Not a day of utmost in excitment or inspiration, but a pleasant way to spend a few Saturday afternoon hours with people I otherwise would not have met and to watch young people who reminded me that play need not be competitive, but enjoyed simply to be enjoyed.
Friday, April 30, 2010
We all want to be winners. That is, we want to be successful in what we do.
This is why tomorrow at my six-year-old nephew's birthday party at a local bowling center, bumpers will be put into the lane channels (gutters). These bumpers guide the kid's bowling balls to the pins so they knock some down with nearly every roll of the ball . It builds up the children's confidence and adds to their self-esteem.
The alternative is a sea of sad faces and despondent attitudes, things young children should not have to endure at a fun birthday celebration . Not when there is an alternative of the bumpers available. These moments are not the time for competition and athleticism, but of pizza and birthday cake and running around and, oh, yeah, maybe getting an assisted strike.
Some adults disagree with helping the kids at something like this. They say the kids will grow up with a sense of entitlement when they face an obstacle they do not have the skills to overcome.
I say, "Baloney!" Remember our first low-to-the-ground tricycles and the training wheels on our first bicycles? Remember T-ball before live pitching in little league baseball? Or the assisted moves in gymnastics and swimming classes ?
Children and adults all need to have pure, unspoiled fun sometimes. And to see the smiles on the parents' faces as they, too, roll a bowling ball against the bumper, adds a smile to our own face.
Let's admit it -- life is tough and we all need help now and then, at work or at play. But there is time enough for dealing with life's difficulties as we age. At a birthday party at a bowling center, I say bring on the bumpers! They might just let me knock down a few pins, too.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I recall reading once that what seems a failure in our lives may not have been one at all but simply may have been the best we could have done under the circumstances.
Tears, self-regret, even self-loathing will never change our past decisions. There is no reason to dwell on what might have been or could have been or on what we should have done or said. Our judgment at the time was the decision we made because of the existing situation, using our overall knowledge of the event. Self-recriminations serve no worthwhile purpose.
Isn't it enough that we have today's challenges to deal with? Must we overload our emotions and our minds with the past?
When we make decisions we build our wealth of knowledge for the future, when similar circumstances may again face us, when we can call on our past experiences to shape our future reactions.
Over time, we can only hope and pray that we make the best judgment calls we can with facts at hand. We mustn't allow tears of sorrow to drown our ambitions but should always remember that whatever we have done was likely the best we could have done at the time and know that even if faced with identical circumstances in the future our decisions will be tempered by past knowledge and experience.
Let us live today, expect tomorrow, but never drown in yesterday.
Get An Email Alert Each Time IUHRYTR Posts