The first time I experienced my biological clock ticking was on skis. While riding a lift, a little girl, with a helmet that dwarfed her small frame, pointed her power wedge down the hill and flew. I fell in love and realized that one day I wanted to have children so that I could teach them how to ski.
Fast forward to today and I have two children, both in helmets, both on skis. My three year old is transitioning from skiing between our legs on and off the harness. When her big brother made this transition I thought, "I've got this!..."
During his first years on skis I braved the one-run days, the arriving to the hill to see him sound asleep in his car seat days, the playing next to the magic carpet building a snowman days… and so on. Then one day, with harness attached we were able to do not one, not two, but three runs. Eventually the day came when it was time to “let go of the reigns”. However, I realized that I had set a pattern and quite frankly, he enjoyed that I had the reigns, and that he could go fast without really needing to stop, because guess what? Mom would do it! Thus, we signed him up for ski lessons.
What I discovered his first day on slopes without mom or dad was that his instructor was there to teach him to ski, no parenting, just skiing. She was there to teach and she didn’t get discouraged or take anything personally, she simply knew how to teach a child to ski. I realized sometimes it is better to leave it to the professionals.
Now my daughter is in the same program. Just a few days ago, she took her first step without us. I believe this is a first of many steps where I trust and let go and see which path (or run) my children take me on.
A few pointers:
1. While getting the footage for this blog, my daughter saw me. This was a terrible rookie error on my part, because she melted. When your child is learning something new, it is best to let them have their space and not be their crutch to assume old patterns. (Just find a better hiding spot to photograph your child’s amazing accomplishments!)
2. See the world from your child’s perspective. We thrust new experiences on them daily, especially when they are young. It’s a big deal to learn to trust your body on two narrow planks on a slick surface. Allow them to learn at their pace and eventually you’ll be trying to catch up.
3. Be patient. The key is to make the experience enjoyable. If there are too many hiccups before you even make it to the snow, consider going straight to the local ice cream store (Java Cow Coffee & Ice Cream on Main Street rocks) and try again, because everything is better with ice cream.
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.