As I mentioned yesterday, we took our kids on a ski trip last week. In my opinion, this was probably the best family trip yet, and I'm going to tell you exactly why. Not that you asked...but I figure we are all looking for that elusive bit of family fun. So here goes...
Let me just be clear. We are not a family of uber-skiers. We are Texans with very little experience with snow or sliding upon snow. As I type this, I have on a t-shirt and flip flops, and aside from my stint at BYU...I've spent my entire life WITHOUT snow. Plus, when I was a BYU student I was too poor to buy food regularly. Such poverty prohibited skiing...because skiing costs money. I didn't have money. You get the idea.
This was our second ski trip. The first trip, last Christmas, involved lots of bumbling and figuring out how to handle the equipment, how to ride the lift, and how wedge down a steep mountain with one's thighs on fire. It was fun because it was novel. We wanted another shot at it.
This time there was less bumbling. There was, instead, lots of shuttling. Getting the equipment, transporting the equipment, storing the equipment. Getting lockers for our snow boots. Trading our snow boots for ski boots. Traipsing the kids and their equipment to ski school. Losing equipment. Finding equipment. Losing more equipment.
But then...you finally get on the snow. You click into your skis, and you plummet yourself down the mountain. As for me? my toes are scrunched up in my ski boots in a desperate attempt to turn myself back UP the mountain. My mind screams "STAY IN CONTROL. STAY IN CONTROL. STAY IN CONTROL." And when I'm in control? It's super fun. I desperately wish I was more coordinated. And more gutsy. But I'm determined, and that seems to count for a lot in skiing.
My kids though, skiing comes naturally to them. Rebecca, in particular, was bored with the green runs by the first day. My long, gangly 15 year old girly girl needed more speed and more excitement. And the other kids weren't far behind her. Parker, who snowboarded last year, loved skiing. He wasn't worried about staying in control; he was worried about going faster and further and on more difficult runs. Madison and Jordan were the same. And EVERYONE was happy, which I find an elusive element on the family trip. It's difficult to please various ages and interests all at one time. If we are shopping, Sterling and Parker are bored. If we are doing eleven year old boy things, the girls are disinterested. Heck, over Thanksgiving we couldn't even agree on a movie to see. But everyone likes to ski...sometimes together...sometimes on different runs...togetherness, space, all outdoors. It's a win/win.
Here's another good thing. Skiing is physically exhausting. Like, so exhausting that you feel kind of floaty and ethereal once those boots come off. After the first day of skiing, and dinner with my aunt and uncle (the BEST ski hosts ever), I went to the basement to see what the kids were up to. The entire basement was silent. ALL of the kids were in bed, asleep. It was probably 9. Ski and sleep -- no time for whining, or bickering, or complaining. Not that my kids EVER whine, bicker, or complain. They are perfect in those ways. But still, skiing helps with their perfection.
And in the end, you are left with SKI STORIES. Like the one time I got caught up in this ski obstacle course designed for toddlers. And I was stuck. And everyone else was at the bottom of the hill (so they couldn't come help me) and were laughing and videoing me. And this four year old girl screamed at me to get out of her way. Yep, good times, good memories.