"We look like noodles don't we mom." said my skier as ski hats are removed and we steam in the car, trying to dry off from the drizzling rain that has soaked us to the skin on the ski slopes. We wait out the worst of the rain listening to and discussing the Wicked soundtrack, sipping Stephen's Dulche de Leche Hot Cocoa out of a shared thermos cup, and giggling over Mad Libs. "I know this isn't our best day skiing, but let's look on the bright side of things shall we?" I ask when it is time for us to reemerge into the sleety drizzle for her lesson. We march on our "turtle boots" (christened by Ladybug because we walk so slowly in them) back to the National Ability Center to meet her adaptive instructor, Lia. "I am dry. I am warm. We are SOOOOO Happy!" my little one chants as I think miserable thoughts. I laugh in spite of myself at the positive reinforcements she continues to chant till we arrive, shin stiff and soggy again. Rachael, our peer skier is waiting for us with a huge smile and conversation for Ladybug.
My little skier, confidence bolstered by her new found skill and uninterrupted time with her mother and hero, answers animatedly. I struggle to keep up as I follow the lesson down the hill. I can not hold my poles and take a picture at the same time so my little one holds my poles as I look down at our skis. Last week while trying a jump, I crashed, and she was there to pick me up and help me retrieve my poles. "Pizza Slice Mom!" she yells as I get out of control. "Which run do you want Mom? I want to make you happy." Later while watching a ski race of kids a year older than her, "I'll probably do that soon."
My sweet husband, always the optimist and opportunity finder insisted on this experience. I, knowing that ski clothing would probably bug, the cold would annoy, and the cost though a deal was not cheap, dragged my feet and was not a cooperative helpful partner in this venture. Now, he stays home to install molding while I reap the rewards.
A smile... a real one. Confidence. A dream for the future. Giggles and shared jokes. Shared thoughtfulness, a shared experience. I watch her zoom in front of me, help me, and buoy me with her positive attitude and I see a glimpse of our future, roles reversed. Somehow, the view is different, clearer, from the ski lift.