The first time my wife and I took the kids to the slopes, it was a mind-blowing experience. I knew the fact that cold icy white stuff spit out of the sky would boggle the mind of our eight-year-old son. For our 13 year old daughter, she had been around inclement weather before but never tried a cold weather sport. I should have known the week wouldn't go the way I designed it when before we even left for the mountains, we stopped at the local sporting goods store. It wasn't the cost of the gear that surprised me, but the vast amount of different brands and styles now offered in ski equipment. Going skiing has gotten complicated, stylish, and high tech. |
After we got all of our ski equipment and loaded up the car, three rounds of "100 bottles of beer on the wall" later, we arrived for our week of bonding and snow sports. The weather cooperated and the snow was plentiful and friendly for skiing novices. I hadn't been on the slopes in almost 10 years, and there was an excitement and nervousness apparent in the car ride to the resort as we prepared to find an activity that the entire family could enjoy together.
After a series of lessons the kids not only felt confident in their ability to conquer the mountain, but found cooler and younger friends than mom and dad, as kids tend to do. While this was initially disappointing since we had envisioned the four of us laughing and throwing snowballs at each other together, it actually was refreshing to see their ability to socialize and acclimate to a new environment so seamlessly. A secondary benefit was that my wife and I to spent time together without the burden or stress of everyday life weighing us down.
The week was an enormous success. The modern day ski equipment made learning much easier for the kids. It enabled us to enjoy our experience skiing much more so than years ago when it never seemed like our gear fit exactly right. The kids not only learned to ski, but by the end of the trip were also able to enjoy some of the same runs that we were on. It is amazing how quickly young people can learn and challenge themselves and excel.
Needless to say we'll be headed back to the mountains again sometime soon. It might not have been the week I imagined, four people together for an entire week teaching and learning with each other. However, having some space on the slopes, getting together for meals and telling stories and laughing each night, and a car full of smiles on the way home made it one of our best trips to date.
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