The day before our scheduled departure date, the school called for me to come get Four, who had a fever. I brought him home and solemnly informed him that he had twenty-four hours to get healthy again.
His dad was in town for a meeting that day and came by to sit at his sickbed (i.e., the couch with a hot water bottle, special quilt and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons on continuous loop). I had already started packing our ski stuff, and had decided we’d go anyway, and if he was sick, we’d just sit around in our condo with a beautiful view, which beat sitting around at home with our usual view. But then his dad generously offered to take Four for the weekend so that Seven and I could drive up to the mountains as planned. He would then bring Four up on Sunday; surely by then he would be feeling better.
I naturally jumped at the offer.
I got lost driving up and what should have been a two-hour drive ended up taking Seven and me four hours. Eventually we arrived, very tired, but happy to be there, and the view from our tiny condo when the sun came up the next morning was worth it:
In the end, I was very happy to have had two days alone with Seven. When it is just the two of us we synchronize. We woke up at six in the morning and lay in our bunk beds listening to each other breathe. We waited for the sun to come up, and were out on the slopes early in the morning and done by lunchtime. In the afternoon, we swam in the pool, checked out the town and did some grocery shopping before heading back to the condo. We ate an early dinner, then read for a couple of hours before going to bed. He is a very agreeable companion.
Four arrived Sunday evening with his father in tow, and we all went out for pizza. Four is rowdy and Seven acts like the child he is when they are together. Everything changes. On Monday, the boys had lessons in the morning and I skied with my ex, which was actually more fun than I would have thought. On Tuesday, the boys had lessons and I skied on my own, except for the last few runs when one extremely friendly Sicilian followed me up in the gondola and insisted on accompanying me down the slopes. By Wednesday, both boys were skiing pretty well, as I documented:
and the three of us skied together after their lessons. Wednesday was a beautiful day, and the snow was gorgeous, and I would have skied all day but the boys were tired, and so we left early, and they slept the whole way home, and I did not get lost, but drove us back through the most breathtaking scenery, all the while thinking of what a wonderful trip it had been. I’d been so worried about how I’d carry all those skis and how I’d manage with both boys on gondolas and chairlifts, and in and out of ski boots, but I was underestimating them and I was underestimating myself, and I was underestimating my ex, who really did come through.
It was just what we needed: five days away. And we all grew up a little bit.