“No baby day!” she cheered, “And we get to ski!”
We arrived at Wachusett Mountain and Lainey joined the full-day Polar Kids Ski School. A long class, from 9 to 3. I had a whole day of skiing to myself! Well, actually my friend Ronnie was with me—even better.
“I can’t wait to ski with you later, dad!” Lainey waved.
“Me too, Lainey!” I smiled. “Have fun!”
I couldn’t wait to see what she would learn. Lainey had been skiing once before, but after a whole day lesson, she’d be a pro, right? I could take her on a lift, show her the slopes—it would be awesome!
While Lainey learned, I ripped down Tenth Mountain Trail and Conifer Connection, among others. There’s nothing like the cold wind in my face. I took a deep breath and let out a, “Whoo-hoo!”
Ronnie had kids in ski school too, and every once in a while we’d pop in and see what was up. And Lainey was actually skiing independently! Her teacher stayed near as Lainey made turns down the bunny hill! I was impressed.
“Good job, Lainey!” I yelled.
The day felt long, nice and warm, foggy but the vision was good enough. The lack of sun kept the snow nice and fresh. Ronnie and I had lunch and a few beers. Then we skied more until my legs were Jell-O. Finally, I picked up Lainey after school.
“She did great!” the instructor, recapped. “If you want to take her on a lift, by the time she gets down the run, she’ll probably be Level 3.”
“Thanks!” I smiled. I couldn’t wait. “Let’s go, Lainey! Let’s ride a lift to the top of the mountain!”
“I don’t want to,” Lainey complained, “My feet hurt.”
“What? Are you kidding?” I sighed.
“My feet hurt so bad!”
“Fine,” I said. “Should we do the carpet lift instead?”
Lainey reluctantly nodded.
We made it to the bunny hill, I dragged her onto the carpet lift and we rode up. At the top of the hill, Lainey clung to me.
“Don’t let go, dad!” Lainey panicked, clutching my hand.
“Lainey!” I yelled, “You can ski by yourself! Remember?”
Lainey shook her head and started to cry.
Why is it, that when Lainey is with a teacher she shines, but once she’s with me, it’s different? Sure, she was tired, but she didn’t even consider skiing independently. And now that the tears started there was no changing her mind. I sighed in frustration. Then I looked around and laughed at the situation. Stuck on top of a hill with a girl that won’t ski— quite the predicament.
“Well, there’s only one way down,” I smiled. “You better hold on tight!”
Lainey held my hand and we whizzed down the hill together. She squealed with delight as we almost crashed at the bottom, but not quite.
“That was awesome!” I cheered.
“Again, dad, again!”
In the end we did ski together, sort of. I hope she loves to ski as much as I do, but maybe not. I will always push Lainey to learn more, try harder, or be tough. Expectations may be met, but having fun comes first.
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