Our exploits into the Best Summer Ever continue. Today, we went bowling. Now, you might think to yourself, "Right, bowling. Luckily bowling alleys are meticulously clean, well-lit and child friendly!" If you think that, then you have a) never been to a bowling alley or b) repressed many painful memories or c) lost memories from some sort of secondhand smoke inhalation brain injury, maybe in a bowling alley or d) I could keep going forever. I mean it. I could make up about 5000 reasons why you don't know that bowling alleys are horrifying petri dishes with 40 watt light bulbs and old men with very long hair. I could do that. But I won't, because it seems like maybe I was planning to talk about something else before this digression. Ah yes. Bowling with my children.
We signed up for a program called Kids Bowl Free, and immediately got the coupons for 2 free games a week, or maybe even a DAY... it's a lot of coupons. We also got hit up a couple of times to pay a smallish fee to join the parents up too, but the husb is off being a suit for the teen camp and I don't bowl so much, because I am truly, amazingly bad at it and also bowling balls are horrifying and the only thing worse than thrift-store-hands is bowling-ball-hands. Just talking about it makes me need some hyssop or something. And I'm not any kind of germaphobe. Germaphobes would be sent to hang out with me for shock therapy. Still. Bowling balls.
The shoe rental was somewhere around $3 each, in case you actually believed this was free bowling. Still. Free-ish. They started strong, with bumpers and even a dragon shaped ramp to direct the ball, but you can only take turns rolling a ball so many times before you need to make a mad dash around the building, disturbing the 11 am bar crowd and getting a side eye from Roz. Roz is not her name, but it shall ever be her name.
I kept Tristan on the leash the whole time and still lost him on multiple occasions, and would find him bowling somewhere else. He's a maverick, I guess. When Toby was that age, he was horrified by warning signs with graphics like chopped fingers or broken bodies by diving boards. "I will never put my fingers in there," he'd say, and then he never would. Not so much Tristan. I think he considers Caution signs as some kind of dare. You never get used to the panicked dive to stop a kid from mutilation, even if you spend all day protecting said kid from mutilation. Oh, and he licked the chairs. Because OF COURSE HE DID. My friend Mari came along with her kids, and I don't think her 2 year old got in the ball return or threw the ball backwards even once. In fact, I think there was considerably less serious-mom-voicing going on over there at all, just, you know, bowling.
I'm looking at this summer, and it's just so real to me that I have a handful of summers at my disposal, and then they'll be doing something somewhere else, without me, and I'll be stalking them on the internet and using my serious mom voice on text messages. This is a year to make memories. All these experiences cost a little more than I expect, and they make me sweat, and they're tiring and complicated. Honestly, though, seeing them celebrate knocking down 3 whole pins and then talking about "next time" all the way home... I think I'm on the right track. Onward, summer days.