I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

all downhill from here

Yesterday began a new chapter in the life of our family as the girls and I had our first ski trip. We headed to a local hill for their 'Discover Skiing' program with the Snowman family, where they got their equipment and a one-hour lesson. The lesson time was good for J (Mrs. Snowman, to the girls) and I to get a few runs in at our own pace before taking the kids at a much slower rate. It's the first time I've been on a hill since before R was born, and did it ever feel good to be back at it. It wasn't too cold, snow was falling, and the hill wasn't too busy. Perfect.

Quote # 1 of the day from A as we headed to Mount Pakenham: 'Is it very far to Mount Pakistan?'

I ended up having to rent equipment. My stuff was just too old. I had pulled my boots, purchased 'way back in my university days, out of the barn where they were stored. One went on well enough, but I just couldn't get the other on. Hm. On putting my hand in to see what was up, I found a mouse nest (thankfully with no current resident) - lots of fluff, and a load of seeds that ended up all over the kitchen floor. Oh well. That cleared, I proceeded to walk around in the boots and at the second step heard a crack and the big chunk of the front broke off. Guess 13 years in storage isn't good for the plastic.

After their lesson, a hot chocolate break and some more trial runs on the little hill, we headed to the chair lift which M was glad to see had a safety bar. I think when she heard it described she had pictured a kitchen chair suspended far above the snow. We lined up, M fell and got bonked on the head a bit with the chair (making me glad I'd splurged the $8 for helmet rentals) but we did get on and had a lovely ride up the hill, only to have the girls fall again on leaving the chair at the top. Then, we had a slow run down in which all three girls were better at the end than they had been at the beginning. A second run went more smoothly, though the chair entry/exit definitely needs work.

Each of them was true to character: R was cautious but good, A showed no fear (quote #2 of the day: 'can't we try one black diamond?'), caught on quickly and then her goal was to go faster, and M was very timid at first but gained confidence little by little. I was thinking the falling and head-bonking might put a damper on the day but as we returned the rental gear, a chorus of 'can we do this again tomorrow?' broke out. Today we are tired but they are still itching to get back on the hill.

And so something we can do as a family was opened up to us. A ski day is now possible without leaving the kids. The five of us can take an afternoon and head to the hill, like D and I used to do in the old pre-kid days. The pace on the hill is much slower than it used to be, but we don't mind. I figure if they keep at it, it won't be long before we can't keep up with them.

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