I do not like letting Lily fail. And I was certain that she was going to fail when she wanted to bowl without the bumpers yesterday. I was positive that every single ball would be a gutter ball. But she insisted. That was the way she wanted to bowl.
When it was her turn, Lily toted her ball up the lane, placed in on the floor between her feet, and gave the ball a great HEAVE with both hands. Without even seeing if her ball would knock down any pins, she turned around and walked toward us, grinning.
On her second try, she heaved her bowling ball down the lane again.
I realized that Lily has a different sense of failure than I do.
I’m a terrible bowler. We were bowling with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who are on a bowling league. Ed bowled a turkey in his first game: three strikes in a row. I can barely make it up to 70 points when bowling.
I’m a fairly competitive person. When I do something, I like to do it well. I may not be the best, or the winner, but I like to be pretty good at the things I attempt. I consider myself to be a failure at bowling.
But Lily has different guidelines about failing.
She was thrilled to be bowling. She was thrilled to be bowling with Mom and Dad and Sister, her aunt and uncle, without the bumpers. It didn’t matter to her that she wasn’t knocking any pins down.
She stepped up to the lane again.
Gutter ball, zero pins down.
On her second try, the ball stayed on the lane.
It didn’t go into the gutter.
Instead, her ball knocked down seven pins! We all jumped up and down, clapping our hands and cheering for Lily.
As we continued to play, Lily’s ball went into the gutter sometimes, but she also managed to knock down some more pins.
Even if she hadn’t knocked down any more pins, I think she would have been happy.
And she wouldn’t have failed. Just giving herself that challenge of bowling without the bumpers made her successful.
Once again, I learned an important lesson from my daughter. That’s part of the joy of motherhood.
|It was too dark to take pictures in the bowling alley, so here is one of her playing in the snow.|
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