On Saturday after Ultimate Frisbee I met up with my family in Denton for some afternoon bowling. I’m not a fan of bowling. It’s a slow sport that requires me to wait for other people and for that slow machine to get my ball back to me and reset the pins. Tap, tap, tap goes my fingers – I’M WAITING.
However, I have to remind myself constantly that my life isn’t always about me getting exactly what I want and doing everything that I want to do. Ugh, if only… So I’m bowling along with my sisters and actually having a good time with only a mild amount of effort. My dad isn’t playing but watching and I go over to talk to him and he starts telling me how to bowl better.
Firstly, I didn’t really care how well I did, I was just there for my family, but I listened to him because he was taking the time to share something with me. I was actually delighted that he was there watching me and even more delighted that he was telling me how to correct my throw.
I’ve been reading these Wilbur Smith books and there are always these amazing Father/Son relationships where the dad takes time to teach his sons how to build or hunt or fight. I envy those people in the books because my dad and I didn’t have that kind of relationship when I was a kid. When he taught me how to do something it was usually how to mow or weed eat and I didn’t want to learn how to do either.
But now I’m older and my dad and I have a much better relationship and so instead of telling him that I didn’t care about how well I did, I sat and listened with rapt attention. Afterwards I implemented some of his suggestions and it wasn’t long before I was bowling strikes and dad was giving me the thumbs up.
I was proud of myself not for getting the strikes but for being mature and listening and realizing, finally, after 32 years that my dad’s way of showing his love is teaching and I allowed him to love me by listening.
My dad is 73 years old and will be 74 in November. He won’t be around forever and so I’m not going to act like he is. I’ve spent a good portion of my life lamenting my past, but I won’t let it destroy my future…