If You Give A Girl A Bowling Ball...
If you give a girl a bowling ball, she will want some bowling shoes to go with it.
You will buy her the most adorable pair of little bowling shoes, and then she will probably want a bowling bag and towel to match as well.
The more bowling toys she collects, the more room it will take up. Therefore, you will have to get her a bigger bowling bag with every new ball she gains and maybe even a separate pouch for her shoes too.
She will probably spend hours tugging at your arm, begging you to take her to the nearest bowling alley so she can try out her new ball, even though you would much rather just sit down and relax after the hectic day at work you've had. However, of course, you cannot say no.
You will patiently teach her how to correctly release the ball and how different oil pattern works, as you see her face light up with every new thing she learns and every strike she gets. She will not want to go back home until she beats her newest high score, no matter how many hours she has already spent in the alley that day.
Eventually, that eight-pound bowling ball she has been throwing will get to light and the finger grips to small. She will want to see just how heavy of a ball she can throw and how fast she can make it roll down the lane.
Eventually one ball will turn into six that she insists are all necessary to keep, considering they all do different things. She will still want more though, you can bet on that. She will get used to having a torn up thumb, but ignore the pain and keep asking for just one more game. It will be impossible to miss the smile on her face as she picks up a new spare for the first time or bowls her first 200 game.
As she gets better at hooking the ball and spare shooting, she will want friends to play her new favorite game with and against. That is when you will sign this little girl up for her first league.
Then life as you know it will change...
There will be no more lazy weekends watching movies on TV or taking trips to the beach. Every minute of your time will be spent hauling bowling balls to alleys near and far. No more sleeping in on Saturdays because bright and early league will begin. Your Sundays will be spent at all day tournaments watching her bowl her heart out.
Your diet will change from warm home cooked meals to greasy bowling alley food. You will become a pro at sewing every new patch she earns onto a jersey. Her laundry will consist of oil stained clothes from leaning her ball up against her body in between shots and her dirty sock pile may stack up to the ceiling. All because you gave a girl a bowling ball.
Your weekends will be spent in bowling alleys standing for hours at a time, unless you are lucky enough to find a chair. You will have to hide your eyes at the fear to watch every time she shoots for a ten pin, and you will cheer out in excitement with every strike you see show up on the screen next to her name. Her weekends will be spent gaining confidence, learning new skills and making new friends.
Her smile will grow bigger and bigger. Each year she spends throwing that bowling ball down the lane, she will get better and better. Her love for the game will grow right along with her feet that are in a new shoe size every season.
You will be there the day she bowls her first 200, picks up her first big split, or throws that first perfect game. You will be there when she tries out for her high school team and makes it and the day she is awarded that varsity letter. You will be there when she decides to continue the sport she loves in college. She will make you proud. With every New Jersey, she acquires, with every new team name on the front. She will make you so proud that you will get her and her teammates ice cream after an eight hour tournament and you will tell all your friends and coworkers about your daughter who bowls.
Right before your eyes, that little girl will be transformed into a striking machine. That little girl who ignored a Barbie Doll a long time ago, simply because you handed her a bowling ball once upon a time will grow into this amazing bowler.
When you give a girl a bowling ball, you give her so much more than just a ball. You give her a dream and a place to learn about life. A home away from home where she will learn so much about teamwork, patience, winning, losing, and the game itself. A place where she will learn that she can push her limits and have the confidence to face anything life throws at her. A place where she will meet so many new friends and people to look up to. She will be the luckiest girl with all of these things, simply because you gave a girl a bowling ball.
Then one day, many years from today, she will come home to visit you and find her first ever bowling ball packed away in the closet next to that old jersey with a dozen of award patches sewn on it. She will pull out the box with all of the trophies she collected through the years, the M.V.P pins, and her varsity awards. She will pull out every jersey she ever wore, the ones from junior league, her tournament attire, her high school jersey and even college. She will look it all over and realize instantly that when you gave that little girl a bowling ball, you also gave her a childhood that she would never forget. Friends that last a lifetime. Memories she will always hold on too and a skill and love for something that is unlike anything else. She will hug you, and in that moment you will realize that everything you gave up along the way, was worth it.
All because you gave a girl a bowling ball...