Bursting with Pride

Skiing and I have had a very long love/hate relationship. I still remember my first time on skis quite vividly, and I was 8 years old at the time. I remember it so clearly because it was an experience filled with so much excitement and fear that the emotions have etched into my brain.

I hate heights, so ski lifts are challenging, I hate pain, so falling is also challenging, and I am not terribly coordinated, so let’s just say skiing is challenging. But, skiing made me feel like I was free, the speed, the wind, the cool air, and the floating down the hill is just an amazing feeling.

As I got older, more scared and less coordinated, the feeling of freedom diminished to almost nothing, and all the bad feelings bubbled into panic. Then one day, to Hubby’s great disappointment, I let go and finally decided that I was done with skiing.

I had completely written off the whole experience in my head, totally forgetting that my kids are also Hubby’s kids and are therefore genetically programmed to at least try skiing. So this week, that is what we did, and after three short days, I am so proud of both of my kids.

Oddly enough, it was little Squishy who took to it first, she giggled the whole way down the first little slope she took, and quickly figured out how to move around without falling.

It didn’t seem to me that Crazy had picked it up as fast, but the ski instructors seemed to see something I didn’t and switched him into a higher group about 15 minutes into his first lesson.

Crazy kept at it, though sometimes he needed to be pushed (thanks C2), and he walked out of his third lesson today with a shiny medal, 7 freaking euros for a crappy ass 30 cent metallic birdie…but it was totally worth it. He is so proud of himself, on top of the fact that he actually loves to ski now. He wore his badge of honour all afternoon and even tried to convince me to let him wear it to bed. I am so proud he is proud.

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I am also really proud of Squishy, her initial triumphs turned very quickly into unbearable displeasure and I ended up taking her out early on the first lesson, she stuck through the second, I gave her the choice for the third and she declined to return.

Given that she is three, I felt conflicted between pushing her to do something she didn’t want to and not pushing her to do something she might end up liking if she weren’t so freaking stubborn.

We brought all her ski stuff with us to take Crazy to his lesson, and I gave her a ton of opportunities to change her mind, but she was very sure she didn’t want to ski anymore, so in the end I respected her decision. She watched Crazy go off with his class, she watched him get his medal and didn’t for a second doubt her decision. Her sense of self astounded me, and made me so proud.

Naturally we are not giving up on skiing altogether for her and we may try again next year, but for now we will leave her in peace.

Now, here is the part where I am starting to feel proud of me. I was a stubborn little jerk when I was a kid, sometimes for good reason, sometimes out of laziness, and my parents often had to push me hard to get off my ass to do stuff, which I almost always inevitably enjoyed…almost, chill Dad, I am not saying you were right in anyway here.

Because I was like that, I have trouble discerning in my kids when they are truly trying to tell me that something is too hard or too unpleasant or too whatever vs when they are just whining because they are tired, or busy watching Tinkerbell at that exact moment in time. But today, seeing Squishy at peace with herself told me that at least this time, letting her have her way was definitely the right way to go.

And who knows, maybe she will continue to hate skiing and she and I can go have awesome mother-daughter bonding moments while snowshoeing or hiking while the boys are off falling down hills on sticks.

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