I am just going to get this started right off the bat with saying, I could not wait to graduate eighth grade, the same way I need to graduated high school. I may have left on good terms with pretty much my whole class, I was done with those people. I needed to move on. Who knew high school wouldn’t treat me any differently. But that isn’t the point. The point is, now that it has been years, I miss the family community that my elementary school provided for me. This dawned on me last night.
Every summer, the PTA has a bowling league that meets on Wednesdays. My parents have been a part of it since before I graduated. I never used to want to go, because it was full of parents and I didn’t have the money to play at the arcade like the rest of my friends. It wasn’t until last summer that I started making an regular appearance. Once you graduate eighth grade, you can officially join the league. However, you can really only sub for people, but there is almost always a slot for that. Last year, I only ever bowled once because it was the last day and I was pretty terrible.
This year, I went whenever my schedule permitted it and subbed multiple times. I was alright the first couple of time, but then I had a really terrible night when I bowled for Grace’s mom. I felt awful because I put their team back several places. The next time I showed up, I was worried no one would allow me to be on their team for the night. My old principal gave me a chance. Lo and behold, I kicked butt. You know how great you can play on Wii bowling? That is what it was like. I shocked myself the most.
I missed the next week or two, but last night was the final night for the league because school had started. This game is for fun and the scores do not really matter. I still wanted to prove that my previous game wasn’t a fluke and that I was not as bad I thought I was. By no means did I reach the bar I set before, but I did pretty well, if I do say so myself.
After the last night, everyone goes to dinner. The adult are already loud and tipsy and it just gets worse. But for the teenagers, it just gets funnier.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I finally felt like I was a part of something.
The parents no longer see me as a kid: they ask me about college, they curse in front of me, they joke with me. They give me advice on everything from boys to school to how to improve my bowling technique. Is it weird that this is acceptance that I love? Maybe I have always liked adults more; maybe that is why I wanted to grow up so badly.
These Wednesday nights have made me see the family I always wanted to have in that school. I can see how everyone gets along and genuinely has a good time. Some one always bakes cookies, too, and who doesn’t bond over sweets? All differences aside, it is about bowling and having fun. That is what I always wanted. I longed to have this kind of relationship with my peers. Unfortunately, I had to wait until parents saw me that way to get this. I am okay with that, though.
The parents also bring their kids most of the time, so I get to see and play with the little ones when my turn is over. It is crazy to have this family. And I really do see them that way: as a family. I am sad that it is over, but I can’t wait until next summer, when I can do it all over again. I will have all these “crazy” college stories for everyone. My school also has the only bowling alley in San Luis Obispo, and I already have plans to be there rather often. Next summer I will kick butt and be consistent in each frame! At least, I can dream, right?
My sister got eight strikes in a row last night, though, and I don’t think I’ll be that good. Ever. She got money for it at dinner! And the entire bowling alley cheered and screamed for her as the X’s appeared in each frame. That is what I love: all the support. That is what a family should be. I am just so happy with it all.
On another note, though: I finally got my official housing assignments!! I am ecstatic! I get to room with all the girls I requested–this includes Natalie 🙂 –in the apartments we wanted. We are all texting to decide on thing we want for the common area and what we are each bringing for the kitchen and whatnot.
Everything is becoming more and more real. I can’t wait for move in day. And we are planning to all go to dinner together with our parents the night before. I truly believe we can all be friends and live in harmony–more or less–together. And I have my own room, which is a big plus.
It is all falling into place quite nicely, and I am so lucky. Things are turning up–knock on wood! I am ready for this step forward and transition.
This love from my past…it will impact the rest of my life. I hope to take what I have learned and use it my future endeavors with my new roommates and friends. I will be very different next summer, but I will always have Wednesday night bowling to get me through it.