Sometimes we all need a little push. For my husband, it was my father informing him that we would begin taking ski vacations as a family and he was fully expected to learn to ski. For my daughter, she needed to be coaxed a little. We negotiated some days with Grandma, some days at ski school. When Mid entered ski school with her, there was another negotiation which involved a few days of ski school in exchange for some snow tubing as a reward at the end of the week. It was a little tougher to come to agreement with Apprentice.
It was the first day of our annual ski vacation. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and clear. There was a little chill in the air you felt all through your lungs with each inhale. We took the kids to ski school. Jaybird and Mid were in a different section than Apprentice, due to their ages. I had the older two, JB had Apprentice. As I was getting my two situated with the ski instructor, I heard some screaming and general commotion in the other area. I thought nothing of it and after our conversation was done, I walked over to where JB was checking in Apprentice. Cue entrance of my mom. She and JB were trying to reason with Apprentice outside the ski school building. I asked what was going on. JB reported that Apprentice had run out of the building, yelling that he had changed his mind about going to ski school that day. JB was contemplating staying with him to be sure that he was OKay with Grandma.
As noted above, this was the first day of our ski vacation. It was a picture perfect Steamboat, Colorado, day. I was going to ski. Frankly, this delay pissed me off.
I told Apprentice to come with me, asked JB to stay put and marched into ski school. He was fine until we got to the counter. When he realized that I fully intended to leave him with these highly personal, energetic ski instructors and kids his own age, he.. well, he freaked. His eyes started to water and he ran, ala OJ Simpson through an airport, out of the building. Did I mention he was wearing ski boots? Oh yes, its was a sight to behold. I chased him out, caught him and carried him back into the building. He was kicking. He was screaming. Grandma had joined me at the counter to check him in. I paid for him and apologized for the scene he was continuing to create. The kind woman smiled at me and summoned a 20-something instructor the front. The young woman took Apprentice from me and carried him back into the “parent free zone” of the ski school. I blew him a kiss, turned and walked out. Grandma offered to take him for the day. We will try again tomorrow, she said, I can’t stand to see him so upset. I told her that in my experience with him that if we did not force him to do it that first day he would not ski the entire week, and I would not have it. I thanked her for coming along to check them in and started for the lift. She stuck around the ski school to be sure that he would calm down. The grandma-ish woman at the reception desk smiled knowingly at her and reassuringly said, “We have at least 4-5 kids like that every day. He is going to be fine.” And, of course, he was. He just needed a little push.
Random cuteness of kids after a day of skiing in Steamboat.
The last day of the same ski vacation, we were getting suited up for a day on the slopes when we noticed the front door closing. Apprentice had completed getting his gear on, grabbed his skis and had headed out for ski school. He has typical German patience, or lack thereof, and decided that he had enough of waiting for everyone else. He wanted to get out on the slopes for the last day. Part of me was so very happy that he loved (and still loves) to ski. However, the vocal mom in me yelled to my dad to chase him down and make him wait for us. When I caught up to him, he had the same look I had the first day, when I was delayed in getting on the lift.
This story was the topic of our breakfast conversation this morning as the kids and I discussed upcoming ski plans. They are becoming good skiers. So good, actually, that sometimes its hard to tell who is more excited to get to the mountains, them or me. They went through all their favorite ski hills. Lake Louise, for overall family time. Steamboat, for the awesome ski school and “Why Not” run. Sunshine for the close proximity to Banff. Copper Mountain because of the moose house, (the condo we rented a couple of times had this monstrous moose pelt hanging on the wall…at least I think it was a moose) and the good times they had napping in the sun with Grandma.
Tis the season! Let’s get to the slopes!
One must see the statue of Billy the Kid when in Steamboat. Also, there’s a bar with yummy local microbrews.