For a friend's birthday, we celebrated by going bowling this afternoon.
It was a day for Mommy and Isaac, since Daddy and big brother Ethan were off to Monster Jam. (The loud noise and intense crowd wouldn't bode well for him, so this was a welcome diversion...)
Isaac was particular in making sure he picked out the heaviest ball he could find. Forget the 7, 8, or 9 pounders. Oh no, those were the balls for sissies; the kids who couldn't own up to the challenge. Let's get the 12 pounder.
I tried to convince him to try a different one. He refused.
My son; little 4-year old back hunched and skinny legs pushed to their limit--carried that ball down the long walkway of obnoxiously colored carpet and extremely loud bowlers. He was focused despite it all. I walked along side of him, trying to figure out a way to help.
Finally, he put the ball down and looked at me.
It was my turn to carry the weight.
When we arrived at our lane, I put the heavy ball into the ball return. When Isaac's turn came, he didn't even use the ball he had so back-breakingly hauled from the other end of the alley. I had to smile.
Sometimes we have to carry the load, even if it's not going to make sense at that moment--even if it's someone else's and they can't do it alone. Somewhere down the line, we're going to see that 12 pounder, that experience we had, and remember how we got here. We can use it to knock down the pins of fear that we can't accomplish or follow through with something. Even if it doesn't seem relevant at the time, or we forget--there will come a moment when remembering is what will bring back the courage to keep going.
Isaac used that heavy ball once the whole game. But it was the ball that got him his only spare. My tenacious little man.
Next time, it will be a strike.