My son stumbled out of his bedroom. Always the earliest riser, he was all dressed to ski. But we hadn’t eaten breakfast. And his sisters were still asleep.
Outside the sun shone brightly—the high that day was 69 degrees. We were tempted to stick around the house, dust off the bikes and plant some flowers.
But we didn’t.
We didn’t because we loved the party that is spring skiing! I knew that soon our skis would be retired for the season. Soon, I would be exchanging my goggle tan for a Chaco tan and ski poles for a paddle.
We ate peacefully and headed out the door, minus the down jackets. This time, there was no hurry. No powder to slay, no crowds to beat.
When we arrived at Snowbasin Resort in Utah, the spring vibe was strong—Hawaiian shirts, tailgating, and music ringing across the parking lots.
All the months of battling tired legs, cold faces, and frozen toes and hands are gone. We could ski long hours in the sunshine with only a fleece on! The snow was still in great condition due to late spring storms that were dropping 8-12 inches of new snow in the mountains.
Life is good in the spring.
Inwardly, I smiled… but then I heard the frustrated voices. The tears, the fighting to get out of the car, to get ski boots on, to get helmets on.
Yes, siblings fight, even on ski days. I felt the surge of disappointment as my picture perfect day crumbled around me.
“Surely if we just get on the slopes, it will all go away.”
As we headed for the gondola, I thought back on the best moments of our 2015-2016 season—the moments where it all just came together. Here’s what we learned together, as a family, on the slopes this season:
1. Figuring out that powder skiing is hard, but at least when you fall, it doesn’t hurt.
2. Sure, I want the kids to practice their technique, but sometimes (most times) they just want to ski fast through the trees, huck themselves off some rocks, or scare themselves on one of the steepest runs on the mountain. And that is OK too.
3. They all learned to fall and keep on smiling.
4. We watched my son keep on trying when he was scared and frustrated. He found victory.
5. And most importantly, we learned that the best thing we can do to increase our kids excitement for skiing is involve them with other kids that ski too.
We took a collective breath on the gondola. And decided to go hunting for jumps. Along the way, we met up with some friends. And soon grandparents joined our crew.
I looked around. Everyone was having fun. Everyone was playing and laughing and jumping and falling and getting back up again. What more could we ask for?
By now, most of North America’s ski resorts are closed for the season. The snow lovers are dusting off their mountain bikes and camping gear. Everyone is moving onto other activities.
But if you’re lucky to still have snow, grab your kids, the sunscreen, your favorite Hawaiian shirt and head to the slopes for one last day. There is still much for us to learn, together.