by Julie Anderson, Family Services Director Oxbow Academy Residential Treatment Program
I LOVE bowling! Unfortunately, I don’t take time to do it as often as I would like. Ahhhh, life! It seems to get in the way when you’re making other plans!
So the other day we took some of our students bowling. Knowing some of the boys are on the spectrum (autism, aspergers, etc.), I figured I could teach them a thing or two about bowling. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was the student and they were the teacher!
You see, as the boys would take their turn bowling – making sure they were focusing on the 10 white pins at the end of the lane, and that their approach to the foul line was just right – they would quite often get a gutter ball, or if they were lucky, possibly end up getting a few pins knocked down. It wasn’t bowling that I learned from them that day: it was their reaction to how many pins they knocked down that made an impression on me. They weren’t disappointed or angry when their ball didn’t roll down the middle of the lane and deliver a strike. No! They were so proud and happy – even when they got a gutter ball – that they would turn back to the seating area with a big smile on their face and SKIP back to their seat! They were so happy they couldn’t control it and they would skip! Not once did I see discouragement written on their face, or words of frustration come from their mouth, unlike me when I wouldn’t knock all the pins down like I wanted.
I learned something more important than how to improve my bowling score that day. Life hands all of us trials. Some more than others, but all of us have difficulties in life. It’s how we handle those trials that make all the difference in the world. We can be happy and enjoy the little things in life, or we can miss those sweet moments by dwelling on the negative.
As for me . . . I think I’m going to skip more often!