When Mom Takes the Kids to Ski School

I will never like skiing. I will never sign my kids up for those every-weekend programs. I will never drive them up to ski school by myself. I will never ski alone.

Never say never.

Life is constantly throwing us curve balls. Lost jobs. Untimely deaths. Unexpected illnesses. Kids with talents or weaknesses we don’t share. Surprise pregnancies. Undreamt of promotions. Big moves to places we’ve never been. Kids who like to ski.

I will never… until last weekend.

I woke up at 4:45 so that we could leave for Vail by 6:00 a.m. My sons are enrolled in a weekly ski program called High Rockies. There is a bus that brings the kids up and back, but I have a morbid fear that the day I put my kids on the bus, it will be buried by an avalanche. This year, with almost know snow on the cliffs overlooking I-70 that would be virtually impossible, but logic has nothing to do with it.

So this past weekend, even though my ski-loving husband could not come with us, I vowed to get the kids settled in their lessons and ski… all by myself. After only three weeks in the weekly ski program, my kids can already out-ski me. They go faster and higher and more dangerous. I figured I should practice.

I picked a slope I had skied with my husband, so that I could remind myself on the steep spots that I’d survived it before. Simba. On my fourth run, near the top, I skidded on ice, spun around and lost my ski. It is important to note that I have never stood up from a crash on my own before. I am cautious enough that I rarely fall. My arm muscles are non-existent. I am slightly uncoordinated. A second crash while trying to stand is certain to send me into panic.

Deep breath. I will never do this again. Just get me down the mountain. I will never like to ski…

…until I actually made it down in one piece with two skis attached… all by myself.

Still shaking, I grabbed my book out of the car, found a nice table in the sun with a view of the mountain, ordered a glass of chardonnay, and was quite pleased with myself.

What a great way to enjoy a warm day in January! Ski until you fall. Drink wine in the sun with ski boots off. If I hadn’t taken the kids to their weekly ski program on my own, I would be back in Denver worrying that an avalanche was going to hit their return bus and doing laundry. Did I say I would never like to ski? Silly.

Then, half-way through the glass of wine, the phone rang. “Are you still in Vail?”


“Can you come to the top of the gondola? Your son has a fever.”

Did I mention that gondolas give me vertigo?

I will never, never, never… until next weekend.

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