Friday, February 27, 2009

"I have a dream." Yes, but, rent the helmets.

I learned to ski in the 7th grade ski club.  My parents had the right idea- sending me off to learn on my own when I was old enough to pick myself up.  I'm not sure at what age my husband learned his way around on a snowboard.  I do remember seeing pictures of him jumping off of rooftops as well as great "air" pic's.  He takes great pride in sharing those memories with me.  Before we were married was the last time I went skiing.  Winter of 1996.  Andy and I met to ski/snowboard together at Hidden Valley.  It was supposedly the halfway point between our homes, though I recall it took me quite a bit longer to get there from Lancaster than it took Andy to get there from Butler. 

This past Christmas my kids opened up gifts from their grandparents (gifts that were highly suggested and actually purchased by my husband) that were a complete shock to me!  They all got boots and a snowboard to share.  That's when the vision was revealed to me.  Andy told me about 4th and 5th graders skiing free in PA and thought Moriah might be free as well certain places since she's 5- so wouldn't it be a good time to learn?  2 out of 3 children were excited.  I was concerned about having to use muscles that have long since been forgotten...

Yesterday was the big day.  Caleb's cyber school was taking a group, we loaded up our family and drove to Hidden Valley.  Thankfully by this time Lily was on board with the whole skiing thing.  It was decided that Lily and Moriah would rent skis and Caleb would use the snowboard.  We pulled into the parking lot and concerns came up.  "What if I fall?"  Lily replied, "I've got band aids!"  Sure enough, she did.  She had packed her bag with proper medical necessities and was prepared to use them. 

 I know that you are more than ready for me to skip to the good parts.  Like when Moriah was crying and refused to put her skis back on 10 minutes after being outside.  Or when any grand thoughts about stealing off for some skiing time alone were squashed after realizing that I would have to stay with Moriah and Lily for their 1 1/2 hour lesson.  I was told by the instructor that they start lessons around age 8, 5 was too young for most kids because of their lack of hip strength.  I laughed.  I looked him in the face and said that she was a very good gymnast.  He said OK, but you need to stay with her during the class to help her.  Lack of strength... my dear little package of explosion who spends 2 hours in the gym each week and countless others at home perfecting her walkovers and handstands, dreaming of the Olympics.  Was I out to prove him wrong?  You bet. 

Many falls later and fortified with food, Andy decided we were ready to progress off of the bunny hill.  This involved moving up from the standing, creeping paced carpet lift to a 3 seater, high in the sky faster lift.  I went first with Caleb who moaned about his foot hanging in the air, wishing it to be over.  We got off but Caleb didn't move fast enough away from the lift before one of the girls crashed into him.  What were we thinking? I was focused on looking for green circle signs.  The easy trails.  Lily announced that now she had to go the bathroom.  We had to get down off the mountain somehow.  Survival mode had kicked into gear for me.  I went first a bit at a time to show them where I wanted them to go and to catch them.  Andy stayed behind to help restart the fallen ones.  More than an hour later (including one potty stop behind a tree for Lily) we finally almost all made it down the mountain.  After falling many, many times, Caleb declared that he wanted to try skiing next time.  Moriah got up after a tearfully hard fall and I expected her to be done.  She surprised me by asking if she could go back to the bunny hill.  Lily was crying the whole way down. It didn't help that right near the bottom of the hill she disappeared into a hole taller than herself where one of the snow making machines was placed.  I was on my way up the creeping carpet lift when I saw her gracefully ski right into the hole.  Andy, who was at the bottom of the hill didn't notice.  I was yelling down at him.  He went up to fetch her, reached his hand down in and pulled her out.  Needless to say, Lily said she was finished skiing and I was bummed that I stopped video-taping right before she slid into the hole.

Funny thing is Lily did eventually put on her skis again and continued up then down the bunny hill until we had to pull her off to go home.  She put into practice the slow (with emphasis on the word slow) controlled turns that she learned in her lessons.  After getting a close up look at the snow making machine she told me she wanted one to have here at home.  Caleb pushed himself despite his many falls.  Determined that he would get the hang of it.  Moriah almost beat her Daddy racing straight down the hill and managed to finally learn how to stay standing up when turning to stop herself at the bottom.  Amazingly hard day.  No, Andy and I didn't get to do much on our own and the main muscles that I worked on weren't in my legs but in my arms from picking the girls up!  There is something incredible about working with your family to overcome fears and frustrations.  It was time well spent in learning valuable life lessons.  It was priceless- the money spent on helmet rentals. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If anyone finds my mind, please return with upgraded version installed.

My day so far... only as it can happen to me.  I left to go the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.  I just went last month but I get my final pic's taken at my orthodontist tomorrow and I've been taking vitamin filled shakes that have chosen to stain every little nook and cranny they could find- hence the much needed cleaning.  I got to the dentist early (which I was quite proud of) and even made sure to point that out to the receptionist as she looked at me quite quizzicly.  She said "I believe we scheduled you for next Tuesday".  My ego quickly deflated as I realized instead of being 10 minutes early I was a week and 10 minutes early.  Yes, I do remember now on the answering machine it was a March date that was given.  Thankfully they had someone cancel so in I went for some scraping action.  40 minutes later after many assurances to the very nice hygienist that I was OK and having to pull out the "big guns" (think super soaker loaded with baking soda and you get the idea) my teeth were better than new.  My face was feeling quite worked upon too after being spackled with super soaker residue. 

Last stop before home, the girls and I head into Target for cashews.  Not just any cashews but the only ones that I can find roasted without added oils.  Just sea salt.  My son who would not touch a nut 4 weeks ago has fallen in love with sea salt roasted cashews.  On the way of course we get side tracked looking at pretty dresses and clearance tights.  Armed with new dresses and tights we head to the cashews.  On sale even!  My face all of a sudden doesn't feel so tight anymore from the dried on baking soda.  Off to pay and get home before Caleb realizes that we aren't there when I said we would be.  Reach the check out only to discover that Lily's tights are missing.  "I think I left them at the cashew aisle".  That's only a walk back through the dress section and cards and videos and then past electronics- there's the aisle and yes the tights right on the floor.  Hurray.  Off to pay, again.  Now there is a line, and we are waiting.  Which gives me time to get out my wallet which I realize isn't with me, it's in the car.  Nice fellow lets us leave our stuff in a pile while we run out to the car to retrieve wallet.

Return home to find that since we are 30 minutes late, Caleb has called his Dad and stressed his concern.  He then rushes over to me and gives me a sincere warm hug.  If being 30 minutes late gives me that kind of welcome I may have to be late again...