Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Encouraging...From the Sidelines

So, since we picked up those itty baby skis for Aiden, Sean has been taking him out as often as possible. To Sean's utter satisfaction: Aiden seems to LOVE IT. Sean loves skiing, loves big mountains and small ones, moguls and black diamond trails (I don't even really know what those are). So Sean will load Aiden into the fifty pounds of coats and snowpants and hats and boots and skis and haul him out onto the big hill in our neighbor's yard. Then, he patiently trots next to him, reminding him when to turn his feet and lean, and then once Aiden has made it to the bottom he hauls the boy and his snow covered skis back up to do it again. And again. And again and again and again.

Today he took Aiden out while I relaxed in our warm house, promising that "I'll be right out! One second! I'm so on my just 5 minutes!".

Finally I got my own coat and hat and boots and gloves and the camera and climbed through the prickly opening in the bushes between property lines to go watch. And it was actually adorable. You would've thought Sean was coaching an Olympic hopeful the way he patiently guided and led.

This is what it looked like:

So I took a turn holding his hand and guiding him down, encouraging him to move his feet and turn, and to lean his body into it, and before long daddy was staring at me since I haven't skied since I was about five and I was just making stuff up at this point. So I let Sean take the reins again.

But then, as usual, my feet started to get numb. And my hands too. And it was just generally really super cold and grey. So I let dad and son keep playing and I headed back inside, to the oh-so-warm house where there was coffee. And in the middle of enjoying my first cup of the day, and my first moment alone, Sean called my cell phone, urging me to come on back out, because Aiden had just learned something amazing and new. And I had to gently tell him that I was so excited about that, and I just love that they enjoy this together, but no way in heck was I about get all those layers on again, climb through the hedge and back down the hill.

Well, afterward Sean and Aiden came back in, and he told me that what Aiden had learned was how to go down the hill by himself, confident and balanced. Well, that made me feel really terrible because although Aiden had been having fun, he really couldn't do much on his own and we were confined to the back yard. It was fun, but not a really big deal, and now he'd pretty much mastered step one, and I was too comfortable inside to go watch.Now it seems like the next step is the bunny slope at a real mountain. Which means I have to decide if this is something that the two of them are going to continue to enjoy as a dad and son thing, or if I'm going to have to actually get some lessons myself.

I am so excited that the two of them have this special time together, but couldn't we have encouraged him to learn to play beach volleyball instead? I think I'd really enjoy that one.

1 comment :

Demosthenes said...

Sean and Ben were really tearing it up when I was at Mt. Snow with them. I'm a pretty good skier, but I like really clear, open, moderately steep trails where I can tuck (crouch down to become more aerodynamic) and pick up lots of speed, whereas they both seem to prefer moguls (bumpy trails) and glades (trails through the trees).

I didn't learn to ski until middle school, and it was really challenging at first, but now I really love it. I can't help but feel like it might have been a lot easier if I had learned when I was Aiden's age.

I'll go skiing with you! Just don't ask me to play volleyball... I'd probably injure someone. And it would probably be myself.

-- Angela

PS. The Black Diamond are the hard ones! Order goes: Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond, Double Black Diamond, Triple Black Diamond.