Downhill

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We’re embracing the idea of Adventure here, with great success.

We took the kids skiing for the first time at the beginning of January.  Although we haven’t had much snow in the DC area this winter, we live close enough to a few smaller mountains in Pennsylvania that a day trip is easy.

We put all the kids in lessons the first day, and then Matt and I set off to remember what we were doing—it had been 15 years since either of us had skied.  Apparently, though, it’s a bit like riding a bike, so it wasn’t too hard to pick it back up.  I wasn’t that great a skier back in the day anyway, so remembering what little I knew wasn’t that hard.rOUNDTOP jan 19 2015 19

After lessons, the kids came with us on the lifts and conquered the beginner trails.  I was so impressed–they weren’t afraid at all.  O in particular got to the top of each trail, pointed his skis straight downhill, and just bombed his way to the bottom, teetering right on the edge of control and loving every minute.

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We had so much fun, we went back again two weeks later–and this time we brought friends.  Matt’s cousin, who hadn’t skied before, came with us and took a lesson, and our neighbors and their kids came as well.  Their kids tried out snowboarding, which looks SO HARD to me.  They were absolute troopers–I was amazed at their willingness to try it and they did a great job.

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Our kids skied again, and only Q went back into a lesson (to work on his turns).  The big kids were so excited to get going  again and they picked right back up—and this time they even gave the small terrain park a try!  Their second time on skis and they were going off small ramps and jumps!  Proud mama moment (and even I tried it—I didn’t want to be shown up by my children).

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The only moment of the day I wish we could erase was when G fell off the chair lift.  For reals.

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The kids had been doing really well with the lifts the whole time.  O, though, needed help getting on each time just because of his height—when the chair came around it hit him at the small of his back, so he needed a boost to get his butt up onto the seat.  (Q did too, obviously, but he was still in his lesson at this time.)  B and G had had no trouble at all.

I was in the lift line with B behind Matt with G and O.  When the lift came around, Matt turned to his left to help O up on the seat.  G, on his right, somehow didn’t quite get his bum on the chair this time though.  Matt’s attention was on O, and as the lift moved forward and up, G slipped down and was carried forward and hung on to the side of the chair as the lift went up.  I watched in horror from the line as the lift got higher and higher (only a few feet off the ground, but it may as well have been a hundred feet from my perspective).    Matt realized what was happening and managed to grab him by the hood, but G was literally hanging from the lift as it went up.  I shouted something unintelligible and another person in line ahead of me did too and the lift operator realized what was happening.

Fortunately Matt also had the sense to see that he wouldn’t be able to pull G up onto the seat and they were only going to get higher.  He dropped him into the snow below just as the operator stopped the lift, and G fell down (only a few feet) and his skies popped off.  The lift guy helped him up and got his skies together, but I could not get to him—B and I were second in the lift line, stuck in the chute with a group in front of us and a group behind.  G and I made eye contact and I shouted to him to see if he was okay.  He nodded, tight-lipped and serious.  They got G back in his skis and into the lift line with another dad-and-son pair, just a few seats behind me, and that Dad yelled to me that he would take care of G.  And off the lift went again.  My heart was in my throat.

When we got to the top, B and I met Matt and O and we all waited for G to get off the lift, which he did with no problems.  We thanked the dad who had taken care of him and covered G in hugs and pats on the back.  And he was fine.  I think it was actually good that G had had a few minutes to calm himself down before he got to us, because even though he had been scared, he really was alright.  But if he had had me or Matt to fall on right away, I think he would have let himself get overwhelmed and let the fear and stress take hold of him and had a little mini-breakdown.  That extra time with someone he didn’t know forced him to calm himself down and handle the stress I know he felt and he did a great job.  And off we skied, smiles intact (although my heart was a little worse for wear after that one).

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The rest of the day was great.  And in two full days of skiing, not one of my children complained a single time about being too hot, too cold, having sore feet, being tired, or any other thing.  They’re so busy having so much fun, they don’t even think to complain about anything.  It’s the best. photo 2 (3) photo 4We’re planning at least one or two more trips this winter–we are officially in love with skiing.

photo 3 photo 4 (3) photo 5What are your favorite winter adventures?

Thank you to my lovely friend Annette for taking so many of these great pictures on our skiing adventure!

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