Top of Mt Snow

We spent the weekend skiing and snowboarding in Vermont.  Dave loves snowboarding.  Noah loves snowboarding.  Chase loves snowboarding.  I love skiing.  I really like skiing.  I tolerate skiing.  OK.  I admit it to you MoB readers.  I hate skiing.  To those of you offended by the “h” word, a softer sentiment:  I WOULD RATHER HAVE ROOT CANAL OR HEMMOROIDS than go skiing.

Dave knows this.  I know that he knows because he was strategically quiet all weekend.  So quiet that I could actually hear the voices in his head saying to him, “She is going to blow any minute.  Dummy up.  Pretend we are somewhere else.  Don’t even thank her for being a good sport because it will unleash the beast.”   I think my attitude towards winter sports has made Dave more spiritual, closer to his God.  I think he prays a lot when I join him on the slopes. 

I’m actually a decent skier but there are several cold realities hard at work against my enjoyment factor. 

1) Cold is the operative word, my friends.  It was sub 20 degrees before the wind chill and even with long underwear, ski pants, double jacket, head band and gloves, my extremities still felt frostbitten.  Thinking that perhaps I could help myself, I purchased a Turtle Fur head and neck sleeve so that absolutely no part of my body would be exposed to the elements, except my eyes.  I looked like a human condom and my corneas froze.

2) The ski lodge should be a haven for people like me.  Before I started skiing, I had this vision of large comfy chairs and couches situated around a warm fire, where Moms sipped hot chocolate and read books while their better halves and offspring hit the slopes, only to appear now and again to share their adventures and go off for more. Anyone who has ever gone skiing knows how absurd this fantasy actually is.  Ski lodges are crowded, wet, and drafty buildings where people clomp around in boots and fight for tables already strewn with coolers, helmets, goggles and gloves so that their families can wolf down mediocre food and argue about what trails they are going to take after lunch.    

3) You need a s-tload of stamina to ski or snowboard.  And I’m not talking about getting down the mountain.  I’m talking about getting from your car to the ticket counter to the lodge to the bathroom to the chairlift wearing 15 pounds of clothing, carrying 40 pounds of equipment, and walking in 10 pound boots that do not permit your ankles to bend.  My ski gait makes the monster from Frankenstein look like Tyra Banks on the catwalk.  Add to that two boys who are predisposed not to carry their own stuff while asking what is taking so long and there you have it.  By the time I get to the first run, I’m freaking exhausted.

Despite all of this bitching and moaning here, I really kept my mouth shut all weekend (except for that one time when I needed to go inside to make sure my fingers had not fallen off).  And admittedly, there were moments on the mountain when I was swooshing behind my kids, down a white corduroy slope, and I felt a mild exhilaration.  At 11 years old, Noah has the balance and grace of his father who really is a beautiful snowboarder.  And Chase, who has improved ten fold this season, trash talked his way all the way down each run, begging to go on a black diamond despite the fact that as recently as December he resembled a turtle on its back…with a snowboard attached to its feet. 

“THAT was totally awesome, wasn’t it Mom?” they both gushed to me at the bottom.

Every year I tell myself that it will be my last on the mountain and this year is no exception.  Just like next year will be no exception when I buckle my boots just one more time to witness unbridled enthusiasm at its best, even though it isn’t mine.

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