Sunday, April 21, 2013

Perchable Bowling

I found my next Perchable person in one if the most unlikely places - The bowling alley.  We had packed up the kids and our dog for a road trip to Palm Coast, Florida.  My in-laws have recently moved there and we made a pact to visit each other at least once a month.  We loaded up toys, books and a sprinkler to keep the boys entertained during our visit.  That strategy worked until Saturday when the temperature dropped and the rain started falling. 

"There's no way we can keep them busy in the house.  They will be bouncing off the walls," I told my husband as we drove back from breakfast.  Just then we passed a bowling alley and, at 9:30 AM, we were tying on our bowling shoes.

Apparently we weren't the only parents of young children trying to figure out what to do on a rainy day.  A young mom walked in with her three girls ranging from two to five.  I overheard the employee tell her all the rules.  "Do NOT allow the children to walk on the lanes.  It's very slippery.  They will fall.  Also, do NOT let them touch the ball return. It could cut their hands off," she announced.

I watched this sweet mom working very very hard to coral her girls and ensure that the rules were followed.  "Over here, honey.  Come back," she
would say to one.  Then, before she even finished the sentence, one would race onto the lane or see if her hand could really be cut off in the ball return.  "Please sit down...No, no, don't touch that...OK your turn to roll...No, honey, it's not your turn.  Your sisters need a turn, too," she said as she tried to have her eyes on all three of them at the same time.  

Most moms would crack.  There would have been yelling.  There would have been punishments.  But she kept her cool and seemed determined to make it a wonderful morning for them.  I approached her as they were packing up to tell her that I admired her patience.  I can't say I would have done as well in that situation.

"Oh, thanks," she said.  "We were supposed to go to the beach but couldn't with the rain.  I'm just glad to be with my girls," she told me.

And I'm sure they were very glad to be with her.  Someday, they will realize what a gift her patience is to them.  Someday they will be mothers and see how much it takes to stay calm in those crazy situations.  But today, we can recognize her and let her know that she is doing a heck of job with those little girls.

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