SKIING WITH MY BOYS
I took my 14 year old skiing today. We met his 35 year old brother at the mountain. The teen is with me for almost a week as his school is on break. I have not seen him since Christmas. I have not been skiing for 5 years.
I started skiing with Spence when he was four. I would put him between my legs and hold on to him while I snow plowed down the hill, his skis barely touching the snow. When he was five I attached a harness to him. The harness allowed me to control his speed and help him turn. Always I was there to pick him up if he fell.
At six and seven years old he was on his own; sort of. I always made sure to ski behind him in case he fell or got hurt. He was always in my sight. At eight years old we skied together. If he fell he would get up on his own. If I fell he was there to ask if I was alright.
Today it was mostly Spence and his big brother skiing together. They allowed me one run on the easy slope, and then they left me, off to try the bumps and jumps of the more difficult runs.
Isn’t that the way with children? You hold their hand, you carry them. You pick them up when they fall, you watch them from afar. Suddenly they are on their own and leaving you at every chance.
They finally learn to ski, and they ski away.
It’s alright. My legs were aching, my wind was deficient, my stamina lacking. After several runs down the mountain, I retired to the lodge and my nook loaded with Dean Koontz. From time to time I would look up and see my boys racing down the hill, hitting the jumps and spraying snow on every turn.
I wish I could keep up with them and enjoy the ride, but seeing them excel on skis will have to be enough and….it is.
It is good to know that I have done my job well. I sacrificed my own skiing time to teach all my children. I may be past the time where I can ski all day. When I do hit the mountain I avoid the bumps and the jumps. I am too old to risk a fall. My children can still take a little risk. They can smoke the mountain jumps, bumps and all.
It is comforting to know that though I can no longer always be there they can ski without me. Even though I cannot pick them up when they fall they can get up without me.
It’s a big mountain. There are lots of patches of ice, lots of bumps and other skiers will get in their way. It is comforting to know that they have made it this far down the hill. They are prepared and they are able to make it to the end of the run. I know I will not be around to see the finish, but I am sure they will do just fine.