Friday, March 25, 2011

Timothy’s First Day on the Slopes

Although our calendars say that spring has arrived, we’ve barely started mud season here in northern New Hampshire. We had some warm days that melted the snow on the driveway last week, but we still have four-foot snow banks and daily flurries.

This coming weekend is the last days the Bretton Woods Nordic Center plans to be open for the season, so the kids and I have an end of season Ski to to the Yurt Picnic planned for Saturday. Join us if you can! I'll have a report soon, but I'm guessing this will be a wonderful family adventure. We'll also try to swing by the Beach Party/Slush Pool Event and Winter Mt. Bike Race at the Bretton Woods alpine area.

Timothy, who turns 18 months next week, has been scooting around on his little plastic strap-on skis lately, and I figured yesterday would be a good time to see how he'd do with the slippery stuff underneath him. I debated whether I should take him by himself so I could give him my undivided atttention, or to go with three-year old Bridget as well, knowing that he is usually quite determined to mimic his older sister's every move. Deciding that Bridget wouldn't want to miss out on the fun, I took both of them, but without the aid of a second parent, I took a minimalist approach. I knew that I couldn't take both of them on the chairlift just yet and Timothy would probably tire quickly, so as long as we were just playing in the level area of the learning area, I only brought their strap on skis and left my skis, helmets and goggles at home.

With Timothy's skis and some rubber duckies in my tote bag, Bridget proudly carried her skis up to the learning area, and Timothy trudged along too. I strapped their skis on, and Bridget headed for the magic carpet with a rubber ducky in hand. Timothy was eager to pet the life-size red and blue giraffe and touch the flowers posted around the learning area; meanwhile, Bridget just started doing laps on the magic carpet all on her own. The magic carpet is a two-foot wide conveyor belt, like the moving sidewalks you see at an airport, built to be flush with the snow, so the beginner can just slide on and ride up a very mild incline, with nowhere to fall like on a chairlift.

I tried to throw a few duckies on the ground for Timothy to retrieve, but he seemed a bit intimidated by his slippery footing and shrugged the ducks off. I brought him over to the magic carpet to see how he'd do following his sister up the ramp. He stood dutifully on the conveyor belt with little comment, until he got to the end where he began to giggle as he slid off into the snow. Then he would point back at the magic carpet, indicating his desire to ride it again.

I held him up under his armpits from behind as we scooted back down to the bottom of the magic carpet. He shuffled his feet like we was trying to walk, which I guess isn't surprising given all the time he has ridden around in the Chariot this year watching us propel oursleves on Nordic skis. Bridget requested that this ride up was "kids only!" so I walked alongside with the video camera.

Both kids seemed content to do laps on the magic carpet. I was gladto see Bridget happily going on ahead when I had to stop to pick up Timothy, and that when she fell she was getting herself up, which was great progress after weeks of waiting for me to come help her when she crashed. On the carpet, she waved to me like the homecoming queen in a parade, then hopped off and went around again. It's amazing how the dynamic changes when there are two kids. I had asked Bridget to show Timothy what to do, and now suddenly instead of being the new one on the slopes, she was the old pro with confidence in her stride. I'm often ambivalent in my feelings towards seeing my kids grow up and away from me, but this was a wonderful show of independence.

Timothy seemed to just tolerate the skiing part, anticipating that moment when he could slide off the end of the conveyor belt. After several more "one more times," I could see Timothy was going to need a nap, so we headed in for a brownie break while the smiles were still on their faces.

No comments:

Post a Comment