I’ve got about 35 days before my life changes dramatically. No, I’m not going to get a new job, a new house, or a new child. I’m not planning a great adventure, a big risk, or starting a new exercise program.
What I am is a ski mom, and despite only having a dusting of snow in the Sierras, my kids are aching to be back to the snow.
From November through April, I spend an extraordinary amount of time slugging around the mountains as my children test their fearlessness, hitting top speeds of 60+ mph. We drive in the dawn and dusk, spending all daytime hours on snow. Well, they are on snow. I’m mostly IN snow, lugging multiple pairs of skis, poles, gear, and bags and bags of food.
And this year, I just found out, I’ll be spending the first New Year’s Eve alone in almost 30 years – all because of skiing. Their skiing – I’m not included in this one. I’ll be home, alone, in the snow.
My family is crazy.
They come by it honestly. The ski fanaticism, that is. Their paternal great-grandparents skied before there were proper ski lifts, ‘racing’ down on wooden skis and leather boots. I fondly remember weekends spent with my dad on the slopes, and my husband raced through college. Putting our kids on skis at age three seemed a no-brainer. It turned out to be the perfect sport for them when they were young, and a great family activity. Then enter racing, ski camps, dry-land practices and coaching jobs. My family is obsessed with skiing.
Many people think I’m the one that’s crazy – why don’t I just send them on their way, and enjoy quiet times at home, or holed up in a cabin with a blanket or a good book, or at the very least, in a ski lodge with a good bar. I guess my answer is the same one that you might hear from a soccer mom, a baseball mama, or any other parent who travels around in the shadow of their athletic children.
I love knowing that my kids are busy all day, every day, every weekend. They go to bed early and wake up early, keeping them out of ‘trouble’. They eat well, exercise, and get plenty of fresh air. We play card games, watch movies, and cook together every night. They have great ski friends, push themselves to do their best, and simply just have a lot of fun.
Isn’t that really what parenting is all about? These years are fleeting, and I feel the clock ticking down. Someday I just know I’ll wake up at 4 a.m. and wish I had one more drive up the hill, one more snowstorm to slosh through with them in the back seat, one more race finish to cheer them on.
So come next December 31, maybe I’ll find a great book, pop a bottle of bubbly, and toast how wonderful it is to be a mom. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better.
What crazy things do you do for your kids? What keeps you going in those moments of insanity?