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.