Trev was four, the first time he went skiing.
Eric likes to tell the story that he took him to Alta - for the special free-after-three deal - and Trevelyn came home, made it to the front door tile, laid down face first (with his gear on) and promptly fell asleep. That was one tired boy.
Since then, every year but the last, the children have gone sporadically. A few times a year.
Maddie has always loved it, and Trev has enjoyed himself once he gets his bearings. But they've never really improved, or learned anything, as they haven't gone consistently.
Skiing is a favorite pastime of Eric's. He's gone since he was a small boy. and for most of his years since he's been sixteen years old, he's had a season pass to one resort or another. He's very, very good at it, and he absolutely loves racing and flying down mountains.
We live a few minutes (and I mean a few minutes-- our playground about 18 miles from our porch) away from some of the greatest skiing in the world. We have nine resorts within an hour's drive of home.
Opportunity isn't a solid reason to take up skiing, of course. But is Play? Is "Oh-my-God-I-love -this-so-much-please-come-play-with-me!"?
Since the babes didn't go skiing at all last year - due to the variances of timing and money - we considered well if we should get them season passes this year.
Maddie was enthusiastic--Trevelyn was seriously doubtful. Not "No, I don't want to," but rather "Uh.... I'm not so sure about that idea...."
Tuesday night we went to Canyon Sports to get season rentals, and yesterday we went to Solitude. A half hour later, we have season passes tucked safely into left-side pockets, and our winter planned out for us--if the babes will only agree.
It wasn't so great, that first little while. My ever-patient Eric came down the hill of Link that first time, in an aside to me "I don't know if I can do this, Babe," with a grimace and one more complaint away from his brain exploding in his skull.
We'd at least have Maddie's sunny eagerness to temper Trevelyn's grumps, complaints and curses....
No. She's over there grumpy, half-crying, and wanting to go sit inside the lodge.
In my head, my only resolve was "We can't leave like this. We can only leave when they want to stay. As long as they want to go home. we have to try again."
I had this horrible knowing that if we gave up and called it a day, we'd never get the babes back up here, again. Gotta give it our best shot.
I fed Maddie (should have done that sooner) and while she was eating her beloved (and almost-always-Mama-denied) Cup o Noodles, Trev and his Dad went back up the step-one ski lift, Link.
A half hour later, here come Dad and Trevy, "Look, Bud... you stop like this... leaning forward, you squeeze your knees toward each other... that puts the power on the inside edges of your skis, and you'll stop...."
Maddie finishes her soup noodle things, and is now pulling on her gloves and is stepping into her skis. She's ready -and eager!- to Go. My relief was great, let me tell you.
"Dad," she says, "I just don't understand how to stop!"
"That's what I was just teaching Trevy. Here's what you do...."
Trev grumps at me for the next while, I feed him, and we both silently accuse the other of (to my thinking) making us miserable.
I breathe for a minute.
"Here's the thing, Bud," while he eats his soup-noodles, "I need to know if this is a "I hate this and I never want to do this again and I hate my parents for making me come up here" thing, or a "This is so hard and uncomfortable but I'll try again" sort of thing."
"Nah," he says, "Neither. More like a "Oh my God, I just want to be better! at this thing, and Dad, just tell me what I have to do to get better!"
Then, as the heaven's opened up, and the trumpeter heralded, "I just want to get past this sucky part, and get to the good, fun stuff. It's hard, but I'll get better. I just have to keep trying."
Hallelujah chorus, then.
Oh, look--here's Maddie, using her brakes, snow-plowing straight down the hill.
"She got it." Her dad says. "Maddie gets it."
"Come on, Dad!!"
"Trevy's coming, too--he's ready, he just said!" piped in Mama.
Dad says "My turn for noodles" and while he's woofing those down, there's Maddie, over there, en skis, showing her brother how to stop, when flying too fast.
Oh my God.... we made it.
After that, it was all good.
While it wasn't within my viewing, Maddie makes turns, as well as snow plows (leaning forward, pressure on inside edges to slow speed and stop), and here comes Trevelyn flying -flying!!--and shouting at people to look out, as here is a force akin to a runaway train turning 'round the bend-- and then he says "I can turn!! I was trying to think of how to turn, and I just instinctively did it! I remember how to turn!!" with much enthusiasm and excitement.
While snowplowing is completely beyond him, and he tells his dad "That doesn't work! I do it, and it doesn't work!..." his dad notices that he's actually squeezing his knees together, instead of just using the muscles on the skis... "No, Bud.... like this...."
Maddie takes off to Link by herself. By herself. "Come catch up!" she calls over her shoulder as she's scooting toward the lift.
Two more --quick, now... the babes are much faster, now-- lift rides up and down... "Time for one more ride, if you want!"
Dad mentions that he has the day off tomorrow. And plans to ski.
I immediately -grin- invite us along. "Want to come skiing tomorrow?" I ask, as we're walking to our 4Runner.
"Yeah," they say. Then thinking how tired they are, "Prob'ly."
"We'll see--we don't have to decide right now."
As we're going to bed, "I do want to ski tomorrow. Definitely. Just wake me up as late as possible. After you have everything all packed up."
'Twas one hell of a day.
It's the next morning, now. My family still sleeps.
We'll see what the day holds....
Good things, I'm thinking.
Not expecting.... but I am ever hopeful. ♥