Winter Wonderland

Driving through the brown farmlands of Illinois, we came around a curve and the white hills rose into view. The snow covering the ski mountain was not cloud generated, but made by snow machines. The emotions floating around in our car varied from anxiety to excitement. Emmy was vacillating between wanting to take ski lessons and wanting to drive home. Remembering the fun she had had last year, Lily could hardly wait for the day ahead.

I was along as part of the support team. I was the booted half, Ed was the half on skis. While I’m not much of a skier, Ed loves this winter sport.  While we were dating, skiing was one of the first things he wanted to introduce to me. The problem, however, is that we live in the flat Midwest. A Midwestern ski resort is not big; it’s not fancy, but it does just fine as a place to learn and have fun.

Midwest skiing

Being in boots instead of skis made it easier for me to run errands and help out, even though most of the time I was just standing still and watching Emmy and Lily become more comfortable on skis.

Emmy amazed me with how quickly she learned to maneuver on skis. She shuffled up the carpet path on the learning hill easily, skied down the hill effortlessly, and got back in line to do it all over again without ever once crossing her skis and falling down.

Lily quickly remembered what she had learned on her ski trip last year, and at the end of her lesson, she learned how to use the tow rope. Oh, that was hard for me to watch! The first time she grabbed hold of the rope, it yanked her forward so hard that she fell flat on her face. The instructor gave her some tips, and then…the rope yanked her again! She lost her skis a couple times. Lily is tenacious, however. She finally got the hang of it and was able to get to the top of the hill. She skied gracefully between all the cones on the way down, not hitting one of them.

I was so grateful that Ed had been watching the weather carefully. The temperature was about 40 degrees, but it was windy. “You look cold, Mom!” one of the ski lift operators told me as he walked by. “You need to start dancing…it’s like the potty dance, except without the ‘having to pee’ part!” I laughed as I pulled my scarf up higher over my rosy cheeks.

Cold as I was, I was content. I’m glad that my children were learning something I don’t know how to do. I’m glad they were fearless in a place where I have been frozen by fear.

Maybe next year I’ll put the skis back on and try again to get over my fear of falling; my fear of heights. I know from experience that once I get that fear behind me, I’ll love the feeling of being on skis. But this winter, it was my time to just be there, watching and supporting my girls.


But I Don’t Wanna Go Sledding! {Simple Moment, Bigger Picture}

I literally crawled into bed and threw the covers over my head, trying to hide from my husband. We had been up late the night before, and woke up early for church and Sunday school. I was so tired, the last thing I wanted to do was drag a sled up a sled hill. No, wait…I was so tired that the last thing I wanted to do was stuff two little girls into snow pants, boots, hats, coats and gloves, and THEN go drag a sled up a sled hill.

“But I don’t want to go sledding!” I whined.

“I’m tired, too, but if we don’t go now it’ll be too late,” Ed reasoned with me.

And so I groaned and moaned and threw back the covers so I could start stuffing the kids into their snow pants.

The day was clear and sunny, and the sled hill was crowded. The top of the hill teemed with kids, parents, and all kinds of sleds. But when we actually got in line, it didn’t take long. Lily was in seventh heaven, flying down the hill on her own.

My little one, Emmy, is not as daring as her big sister. But after a few times down the sled hill with Daddy, she told him confidently, “I want to go down by myself!”

I started to panic at the thought. My baby, going down the hill with all these big kids, by herself!

I’m not as daring as Lily, either.

With great trepidation, I let go of her sled. She flew down that hill, and although I couldn’t see her face, I imagine she was laughing the whole way down. Then she picked up the sled and ran over to the side, out of the way of the big kids, just the way I had told her to. She went down that sled hill several more times, all by herself.

So, was I glad that I had thrown those covers aside and forced myself up that hill? Was I glad I picked sledding over napping? Absolutely. We had so much fun on that brisk winter day, and we had been waiting for snow. On Monday, it started to rain, and all our beautiful snow turned to ice. Thankfully, we had had our one glorious afternoon of sledding before the rain set in.

Simple BPM