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I’d wake up a few minutes before the lifts opened, throw on some ski clothes and grab a granola bar on my way out the door.

These days, a day on the slopes begins well before sunrise. I pack for four more people now—a husband and three boys.

Who knew kids required the equivalent of Safeway’s snack aisle to function on skis, not to mention two dozen layers of clothing, just in case the weather turns cloudy, breezy, blustery, and/or frigid? Not me—at least until my kids became skiers.

I used to look at parents with their progeny in line behind me for the next chairlift and wonder how they did it.

Now I know the ugly truth:  Including children in your ski plans will leave you in a heap at the end of the day.  But here’s the good news:  It will do the same for them. My boys are too tired to pick on each other for a full 24 hours after their final run.

They’re also more confident little men.  My 6 and 3-year-old learned to ski between their dad’s legs.  My husband is a seasoned skier, so we skipped the lessons and let him school the boys.

By the time we let our sons loose around their third birthday, they’d developed the feel and muscle memory to ski on their own.  Today they tear it up all over the mountain, escapes most adults.  I can hardly keep up, which means it’s time to put the baby on skis so I can outpace at least one member of my family.

Lest you think we hail from Whoville, where every child learns to ski with nary a tear or tantrum, things aren’t always so “fah who foraze.” We’ve had our share of daytime drama in line for the chairlift, on our way up, at the top, and back down again.

I recall a few empty threats to post skis on eBay if certain little frowns didn’t turn upside down. I’ve lost my cool over gloves and spending half the morning in the lodge because no one could sync their potty breaks.

But no matter how ugly my attitude at the outset, I finish with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart.  In the midst of the madness I catch a little perspective.  My outdoor adventures didn’t end when I had kids—they truly began.

 

 

Written by Dani Koskan

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