Lessons Learned


Spring break with my boys. Lake Louise, Alberta


I’ve never been a dare devil.  My entire life I’ve played it cautious.  How in the world did I create these three fearless characters??

A ski holiday was not my idea.  A warm beach after a long cold winter is more my style!  But being a supportive parent, I acquiesced to the pleas of, “Can’t we go skiing this winter?”  It turned out I learned a valuable life lesson along the way.

My first day skiing I was rather like Bambi.  Sam, my seven year old stuck by my side for only about the first hour….then it was too slow and boring for him!  He really wanted to leave the “bunny” hill and brave the mountain, so up we went.  I know some people really relish the feeling of freedom on skis, love the movement and flying snow….I just wanted to make it down the mountain alive .

I managed three runs down the mountain, each time I  couldn’t wait to get to the bottom.  Ben, my thirteen year old decided he would stick by my side on the last run.  On shaky legs, about half way down the hill, I fell.  Not enough to hurt myself, just my pride, but it took me at least ten minutes to work my way upright. (No, I never thought to take off my skis…)  At that point I will admit I was near tears at the thought of having to make my way down the rest of the mountain.  As I painstakingly worked my way down, I swore I was absolutely not going back up again.  Skiing would have to be a Dad and boys activity.  I was fine with that.  I could sit in the chalet with my lap top and get some work done or read a book!

Finally at the bottom of the mountain, I saw my boys waiting for me.  I looked at them and realized it would be a huge mistake to just quit.  As much of a struggle as it was and as much as I just plain didn’t like it, quitting was not the example I wanted to set for them.

Instead, I shared with them my struggle. The fact that skiing did not come easy for me, nor was I enjoying it.  It was rather terrifying actually.  However, I understood that it was something they really loved.  They wanted it to be a family activity, something we could do together without work or chores interfering with our time together.  And sometimes one member of the family has to make sacrifices for the good of the others, and for the good of the family.

So I did go back up that mountain the next day.  I gained some skill and finished the day without mortal injury.  I still don’t love it and would prefer many other activities over flying down a mountain with sticks strapped to my feet.  But the lesson learned was valuable, and one I hope my children will emulate.