I went skiing again, ha ha! This time I took the boys with me and we met their dad on the way, crammed into my itty bitty car, skis and all, and drove due north, back to the same place I went at the beginning of the year.
The weather was not the greatest but the powder skiing early in the morning before the temperature rose and the rest of the world joined us on the slopes was glorious.
This child. Oooooh, this child. My mother says he is like that little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: he is either the sweetest, cutest child you have ever met or else he is something else entirely. That is very definitely true, but if I am going to be completely honest, I have to take a lot of the credit for his undoing on Sunday. He was tired and the snow was wet and heavy and it kept coming down and he totally, completely lost his shit in the middle of the mountain. I have been there and I felt for him, and I was painfully aware that I had probably let my desire to ski override the wisdom of that nagging thought that, being only five, having skied several hours the previous day, having stayed up later than his usual bedtime the night before to celebrate his father’s birthday, then having been awakened early in the morning by his over eager mother, and considering the challenging conditions, he was very likely done for the day. It was the perfect storm.
At one point he may or may not have screamed “I AM NEVER SKIING WITH YOU AGAIN MOMMY!”
And, mature adult that I am, I may or may not have answered, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. I might never ski with you again either.”
But all’s well that ends well and we eventually made it to the nearest gondola. Five rode down with his father while Eight asked to continue skiing. Again, I probably underestimated the skill level required or overestimated Eight’s abilities. He was pushed to the limit and he prevailed heroically.
There may or may not have been the promise of a present when my encouragement no longer sufficed. Which changed everything! After that he was so focused on what to request that he skied down the mountain like a pro without falling once, calling out “A comic book?”, “No wait! Quack cards!” at regular intervals.
Five slept the entire drive home: three hours straight and he did not wake up until after I had carried him up the three floors to our apartment and arranged him on the couch. Then he opened his eyes and shouted, “I HUNGRY!”
Not long after, while I was boiling his pasta, he shuffled into the kitchen. We were all still in our ski pants. Eight was already looking through his comic books at advertisements for more comic books and contemplating how to maximize his present. Five eyed me cautiously, cleared his throat and waited for his eyes to fill with tears, “Mommy! Mooooommy!” he cried until I came over to hug him. “I want to go skiing again! With YOU.”
All’s well that ends well, indeed.