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.