Saturday, February 26, 2011

Skiing in Shoes

Spring can now officially come to the Midwest.  Yes, that's another tidbit about me.  I live in the Midwest.  Elk Grove Village, Illinois to be exact.  If you Google it, it might come back telling you that we were one of the top receivers of snowfall in the Chicagoland area for the Groundhog Day blizzard of 2011.  Twenty-two inches in about 19 hours.  Not the biggest snowfall by far, but the wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph made for some very interesting photo opportunities with the kids.

Nonetheless, this year I truly think that more adults believe in Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of an early Spring than children believe in Santa Claus.

We can only hope....

And now that I have taken Carissa for her much-promised, first-ever trip down a ski slope, Spring is welcome to arrive.

Having it coincide with her birthday was lucky.  This trip began purely out of "mommy-guilt."  I took Sean skiing with the Boy Scouts earlier this winter.  Oh, what an event that was!!!  It's not like I could pre-teach him on Wii Ski or have him experience anything like flying down a slope, a mere bumble away from careening into a tree or at least an ice-hardened snowbank beforehand.  No, this was learning on your feet - or your bottom - at its best.

I almost called it quits within minutes of leaving the ski lodge that day.  Sean was trying to actually "walk" in his skis.  He would pick one up high off the ground and then place it back down....on top of some portion of the other ski.  The trip-ups were many.   He didn't want to listen to any of my advice on how to get up.  He didn't want to have me touch him or help him in any way.  "I know!  I know!" Sean would scream and I would shout something back like, "No you don't!"  Intelligence was not my strong point right then....

And my patience was wearing really, really thin.  I have to admit this.... somewhere along that seemingly endless stretch of path, I clenched my teeth and said some very un-mommy like things.

We eventually made it to the "moving sidewalk"  (sooooo much better than a tow rope!!!!) that would lead us to the top of the bunny hill.  My shouts of "snow plow!" went unheard or were ignored and he barreled down the hill.


Skiing some yards behind him, I threw up my ski poles and hoorayed hoping the whole world would hear and look over to see my kid have his moment.

He made it down that time and the next.  Aside from a mishap on the sidewalk system (you can't look back or you'll lose your balance), the hill was mastered in only a few tries.  We moved to the next hill and then finally a hill worthy of a chairlift.

It was probably the height that made Sean listen to me.  Maybe I should give all instructions from now on while dangling perilously without safety devices of any kind twenty feet in the air.... Hmmmm...... 

I talked him through the unloading and he did it like a pro.  Yea for Sean!!! 

All day he did great.  We had some oops along the way - like when he would try to anticipate the chairlift unloading and would jump down to the ramp.... subsequently tumbling and sometimes taking me with him. 

He never did heed my pleas for him to snow plow or slow down.  That must be the kid in him because today, Carissa didn't listen either.

Sean had a fantastic time.  The good memories covering the bad.  It was a big day for him.

Today was Carissa's big day.  She was beyond super - quite a natural.  I'm glad she played the mommy-guilt card.  After Sean's ski adventure she made sure that everyone knew that Sean got to do cool stuff and that she didn't.  I tried to reason that he was 12 while she was only 10 and that she could learn when she was his age.  But sometimes you have to leave reason behind.  Sometimes you have to be in her shoes.... the shoes that go from therapy to doctor and back again.  The shoes that can't have playdates over because Sean can't handle the added stress from an extra person in the house.  The shoes sometime deserve a break - a two year break in this instance.

We all deserve a break sometimes, don't we?  I'm just glad in this case it wasn't a leg.....

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