Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Cheering and Caregivers

I went bowling today with my son.  It's something we enjoy doing together, especially when we knock down pins.

Today there were 2 lanes near us that were occupied with bowlers who were physically and/or developmentally challenged.  I noticed that there was a big difference in what was happening at those two lanes.  I didn't like what was happening at one.

I admit that I am an outsider and maybe there is a lot more to know about the situation but this is what I saw.  In the lane to the left there was a man who, while he talked very slowly and deliberately, functioned very well and bowled well.  He had a caregiver with him.  The caregiver showed no enthusiasm for the man or his bowling.  His body language and his activities with his phone conveyed that his interests were elsewhere.  The man talked to him some but I don't know how much the caregiver said.  When the man got strikes or almost got strikes, there was no recognition.  It didn't stop him from bowling well but it would have been nice if there were some cheers for his accomplishments.

This contrasts sharply with what took place in an alley to our right.  There were a lot more people bowling and I think there were two caregivers.  The caregivers watched and reacted to the bowling.  They smiled.  They were engaged.  All of the bowlers at that lane were engaged too.  It looked and sounded like such a lot of fun.  Those people, all of them, were part of something wonderful.

The vulnerability of the man in the left lane struck me.  While his actual care may be handled well or at least adequately, I wish that he was working with someone who, well, was nicer to him.  He deserves it.  I hope that he has some people in his life who encourage and cheer him on now or in the future.  It is a joy for me to think of the fun and camaraderie the other bowlers and caregivers were experiencing.  Hopefully his caregiver noticed those things too.


1 comment:

  1. Wow.
    Isn't it amazing how you can (accidentally, or at least unintentionally) become so involved in what others are doing, and what is going on around you?
    It seems to be something we just do, but I think you've done something very special here in making me feel like I was right there observing the scene (or scenes ) as well!
    I'm not sure which is more emotional: feeling bad for the man who wasn't getting support or interaction, or the joy (which I can just see from your description!) of the other group.
    Awesome post.

    Your Anonymous Brother