Bowling with the grandkids

At 4, 5 and 7 years-old, the grandchildren barely had enough height, let alone muscle to throw a bowling ball down a narrow, slippery lane to hit ten, very far away pins.
This grandmother does not frequent bowling alleys – but twice to earn a required physical education credits, I took bowling. At the lanes the coach, talked about scoring, how to hold the ball, how many steps to take, how to swing the arm back, put the best foot forward and send the weighted ball down the bowling alley. My scores slowly inched up near 100 by the end of the class.
I think I have played about twice since then.
Their dad paid and we each received a pair of funky brown and green striped bowling shoes. We began fitting children with shoes: Too big, too little. Nothing is every “just right” with borrowed bowling shoes, but close enough will do for a short time at the alley.
“I don’t like these shoes. They don’t feel right.” said the big sister.
“I know but it is just for a little bit while we bowl. We aren’t taking them home with us.”
Wearing our green and brown shoes that did not feel right, with one, bright orange, light weight ball between us, we headed way down the building to Lane 40, where five or six other lanes lined with bumper strips kept the balls from rolling into the gutters. A party of children came to bowl at the other lanes.
I grabbed a heavier ball and demonstrated all the lessons I vaguely remembered from bowling classes and sat down. My son threw a ball and then it was the kids’ turn.
They all grabbed for the ball, stumbling over themselves to be the first to lift it from the return rack.
We had them line up on the edge of the semi-circle of seats and take turns throwing and rolling the ball. The five of us played one match as if we were only two players.
The little one walked up to the edge of the lane and pushed-threw the ball towards the bowling pins. The ball sloooowwwwlllly made its way down the lane.
“I better go help it,” my son said.
“It’s okay. It’s down hill. It will get there.” I said.
She wandered off. We called her back to watch it gently tap over a few pins.
In-the-middle brother looked as if he was holding a basketball. He rushed up and threw the ball as hard as he could down the lane. Orange crush skittered from side to side, bouncing off the bumper strips with enough spin to crash into several bowling pins. After a satisfying smash, he jumped up with a victory sign. His ball had knocked over 7!
Big sister spread her fingers around the ball into the finger and thumb holes, walked back to the seats and dashed forward to the line and threw the ball more or less straight down the lane. It bounced off the skirting once and knocked over several pins.
For the next thirty minutes, the kids circled the lane, perched on bench waiting their turn, waited anxiously for the return ball or hefted it for another dash and waited expectantly for the pins to fall.
They hit no strikes, got one spare and rarely hit more than five pins for a grand total of 166 points between us.
We celebrated with hot dogs at the corner shop.