We celebrated The Rationalist's 9th birthday with Cosmic Bowling, cake, and a lot of fun.
It was a strange sensation for me. Last year's party was at the same place....it was also the last time I saw my father alive. He came out for The Rationalist's birthday which was also the weekend before my mastectomy. Although I spoke to him over the summer, between my active treatment and his schedule, we never got together again.
When I was growing up, my father, who by trade was normally an auto mechanic, went through several years as a bowling alley manager. My brother and I spent many weekend visitations with him hanging out in the bowling alley, learning how to get strikes and spares while my dad finished his shift. Sometimes we played pool or video games in the arcade area.
I must say that the enjoyment of my childhood memories is in direct proportion to the amount of parental neglect shown towards us. Two kids having the run of a bowling alley because their dad didn't arrange, or couldn't arrange, to have his visitation weekends off was exciting to us.
I owe my bowling skills to my dad.
I had to learn to bowl for real, unable to rely on the gutter bumpers these young whipper-snappers have to keep all of their shots from being gutter balls. I remember frequently crying out of frustration when I only scored 20 points at the end of a game. I wasn't exactly a good loser.
The Rationalist and all of his friends enjoyed themselves. Each one of them managed to get a strike every now and again, leading to a competitive game. No one was crushed score-wise.