When my older kids get together they sit around and play the "Remember When . . ." game. They remember things I've totally forgotten. They all feel a connection to our home and to the memories we've made here, which is a wonderful thing.
We've tried hard to create memories with our kids. Yesterday we decided it was just one of those occasions. We loaded everyone up into our ghetto van (peeling paint, rusted top, dents from where I ran into the fence post in the snow last winter) and traveled to town to go bowling. Some of our kids had never been bowling (which was quite obvious as we started to bowl). I've decided that bowling is the only sport (is it a sport?) in which you can participate even if you are old, fat, and completely out of shape. However, I also learned that you do need some small portion of coordination.
My 8-year-old almost had a perfect game of gutter balls. He didn't care, though. Each time he threw a ball and it hit the gutter he'd turn around with his sparkly blue eyes and a big smile. We clapped and cheered for him when the ball actually traveled down the entire lane and hit a few pins--you'd have thought he'd bowled a strike.
My 10-year-old was intent on learning the proper technique and kept practicing. She bowled a few spares, but also sent down her fair share of gutter balls. My 12-year-old bowled a little better and was proud of herself for hitting so many pins. My 14-year-old was thrilled when he bowled quite a few spares. His smile covered his face as he strutted back to the table. Scores after the second game were between 18 and 94. I don't think anyone will be inviting them to be on their bowling league, but they all enjoyed themselves immensely and we had quite a few laughs.
My older daughters bowled a little better than my younger kids, 123-135. I loved watching the dance after one of their balls hit a few pins or how they contorted their bodies in hopes of influencing the balls that had already left their hands. We yelled and clapped the loudest when they bowled gutter balls. They returned the favor for me when my silly ball went down the gutter even though I'd sent it down the lane perfectly set for a strike.
After bowling, we found a local pizzeria that brews its own rootbeer. I'm not a fan of soda drinks, but their rootbeer, and cream soda, is excellent. We stuffed ourselves with pizza.
Then we went in search of Christmas lights. Unfortunately, we were too early. Weird for us because we're always late for everything. I guess we'll have to return next week to admire all the lights.
We certainly weren't amazing bowlers, but we had so much fun. Most importantly, we made memories.