As a single parent, sometimes you just want to talk to other adults outside of work. I mean, I absolutely adore my kids, but the conversations with a six- and four-year old can be somewhat limited. So when we were given the chance to attend my unit’s bowling night, I was more than happy to show up and support the event.
For those of you not familiar with the United States Army, there is an organization in every unit called the Soldier Family Readiness Group (SFRG, or sometimes still referred to as FRG). This group is usually led by the spouse of either the Commander, Senior Noncommissioned Officer (usually a Command Sergeant Major or a First Sergeant), or another senior leader. Its purpose is to ensure the needs of families are addressed, with one of the major roles to ensure that families are prepared if their Soldier is going to deploy. This can include everything from having other spouses to talk with for support to finding family members employment opportunities. My unit, Apache Company, just received a new commander, and his spouse organized this bowling night to restart the unit’s SFRG program.
The event started at Jeannie’s Diner on Fort Huachuca, attached to the bowling alley, Desert Lanes. The girls were pretty happy to go because we usually eat there about every two weeks while we bowl. While Gabriella got her usual chicken nugget basket, Elaina tried something different and got nachos; planning (correctly) to eat their leftovers, I just got tater tots. And of course, Gabriella had to get her chocolate milk. The diner also serves old fashioned ice cream in a cup, which the girls know by now that they do not get unless they eat all their food.
We showed up relatively early for the event, but it worked out well because the girls got some food in their system before the bowling portion started. It was good to see everyone I work with outside of the office, as it can be a little surprising how different someone can be outside of their uniform.
In my profession, everyone just seems so serious when they are at work, myself included. Given the business that we are in, it is totally understandable, but it really helps when people are able to “turn it off” and relax a little.
With the lanes already paid for by the unit, the girls got their pink bowling balls, their shoes, and headed towards our lane. They will be the first to tell you that they are pretty good at bowling, but I have not yet had the heart to tell them that cannot use the bumpers or the dragon bowling ball ramp when they hit the professional tour. Gabriella ended up winning their battle, getting two spares along the way (Go Gabbs!).
The girls ended up having a really good time, which is usually the case when we visit the bowling alley. They also got to play with some other kids that came, so additional social interaction with other kids outside of school is always a good thing. And I ended up tying one of our Staff Sergeants for the best score of the night, so all of us left on a high note.
As a single parent, one of the things that I need to work on is getting out more with other adults. I am really not joking when I say that my daughters are my entire life (as other single parents can probably attest to when it comes to their kids). When they are with me, their happiness, health, and development are my sole focus; when they are gone, I usually get a day of relaxation and a good night’s sleep in before I just want them to come home. It is a difficult process to get use to, but hey, that is life. Thankfully, there are events like these that kind of force me to get out and socialize. Hope others are finding the strength and desire to get out too.
Thanks for checking in on us.