By Jennifer Gebhardt
I was both excited and anxious about the first day of ski club. Excited because finally my kids would get to learn to ski. Anxious because while I was confident my older son would be instantly hooked, my younger daughter, well…she’s a lot like me, and I am a nervous skier. But it’s just a bunny slope, right? I could do this! My goal for Friday was, “Be patient and just don’t embarrass yourself or the kids…too much.” Impossible. Jason was cringing at me and ready to pull a Lady Bird and drop and roll out of the truck on the drive over. So much for setting the bar low.
Jason, after impatiently getting his gear on, took off, determined to make it onto the chairlift and catch up with the other middle schoolers before the afternoon was over. Jacqui and I got ourselves suited up and shuffled over to the bunny slope and then…oof. I was thinking that if I was an enthusiastic chaperone/participant, it would rub off on my daughter and she’d see skiing as something fun. I looked into Jacqui’s tearful eyes while I begged her to let go of my hands and tried to explain that skiing is not a hand holding sport, I realized that I was wrong. Arguing with my daughter is like running into a wall, that I built myself. Having faked multiple injuries to get out of ski school, of course I was thinking, “I never told the kids about that, did I? Because she could definitely pull that off if she thinks to flop herself down here..” That patience I was planning on having? No, that’s for other people’s kids. My own kids bypass my patience completely and I was getting ready to give up and spend the rest of the afternoon sidelined.
Then, Peter Comstock calmly looked over at asked, “Hey Jacqui, why don’t you take a turn and ski with me?”
Me, on the inside: “YES PLEASE SAY YES PLEASE SAY YES GET AWAY FROM IMPATIENT FRUSTRATED MOM MONSTER PLEASE!”
Jacqui actually agreed and I almost fell over as she shuffled off towards Peter. In literally two minutes and maybe 25 yards, he worked some sort of magic spell on her, and transformed my miserable heels dug in girl into a smiling laughing happy little snow bunny pizza wedge sliding down the hill! Jacqui told me, “You’re right Mom! Now that I know how, it’s fun!” She then realized she was surrounded by friends riding down the little slope and then up the magic carpet and just like that, settled in for the afternoon. All that stuff with the tears and me snapping? Nope, never happened.
The rest of the afternoon was a happy blur. Jason got to go up the chair lift with Jack. Jacqui and her friends squealed and laughed up and down the hill, falling over and helping each other up again. Towards the end, not so much falling over. Everyone got tons of snacks and ran around in circles. When we finally dragged Jacqui away from the hill, (and finally managed to get Truckasaurus out of the parking lot) the ride home was happy and tired and quiet. Now we can’t wait for Friday.