I come from a family of avid skiers – some might even say fanatics. Growing up in Washington state, my three siblings and I spent nearly every weekend up on the mountain. So, when I had my son, Zach, there was no question as to whether or not he would learn to ski, only how soon he could do so after learning to walk.
Shortly after his fifth birthday, I eagerly packed him and all of our gear into the back of the car and headed for Tahoe. Hours later, we arrived at the ski resort. Zach, bored and impatient to hit the hill; me, exhausted from the long drive. I nearly turned around and headed back when I realized that I now had to figure out how to get a 5-year-old, 2 bags of ski gear, skis, poles, and boots from the outer parking lot all the way to the lodge. I may be a ski fanatic, but there’s a limit to the amount of pain even I will experience for the sport. I figured there must be an alternative.
Every chaperone seems to have their role. Mine is substitute mother. I help the younger ones get their boots on, find their (inevitably) lost gloves, hats, and socks, and shepherd them to and from dinner, making sure they don’t lose their change or spend all of their money on dessert. I want every kid on my bus to love skiing (or boarding) as much as I do. There’s nothing better than hearing the excited chatter at the end of the day, as kids describe the “crazy sick” run they did, or how they sprayed the instructor with snow after learning a quick stop.