I always told Quinn (as a teenager) that when she beat me at Scrabble it would be a real win. I never bought into the idea of playing down or letting a kid win a game or sport. And when she did beat me at Scrabble, she knew she could totally own the victory.

I took the Anderson grands bowling today. While we waited for an open lane, I observed other families bowling with bumpers in the gutters. I felt this sudden dread that my kids might want to use the bumper. It’s just a game, but how can you think of it as bowling without the “threat” of your ball going in the gutter? Believe me, I’ve thrown my share of gutter balls and know that sheepish feeling of walking back to my seat with a — on my score. But that’s part of the growing process.

Thankfully they played two games without the bumpers. (Arthritic fingers prevented me from showing off my bowling “skills.”) One kid in particular suffered through several gutter balls as she got the feel of it. But then…


…here’s the face of true victory when she bowled herself a strike!


Here’s another “strike” face.


More victory!


And the winner…this time.


Oh, yes, these bowlers enjoyed gutter balls and strikes alike. Why not? We went to have fun, and we did.

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