Once the children were settled with skis on their feet and poles in hand… I headed upstairs to relax in the beautifully decorated log chalet beside the roaring fire. Curled up on the most comfortable overstuffed couch I’d ever had the pleasure of relaxing on… not willing to get up for fear of losing my spot to one of the handsome slalom racers who appeared from time to time… removing their colourful jackets and exposing their buff bodies. My only issue was deciding whether I wanted Kahlua or Baileys in my coffee.
It was a glorious day. My book cast aside. Too many Après Ski men in one place to possibly read beyond the first line on the page let alone an entire paragraph… the words a jumble of repetition leaving me with the ability to recite “It was a cruel world that brought Stephanie to the edge of despair as her half eaten apple lay rotting on the stool beside her” with the same memorization of my mother recounting the first line of Chapter One in her Grade 9 History book… “Civilization came to Greece by way of Crete”. She was never one for study and I can only now assume it was due to the over abundance of good looking men in the 1950’s.
I was in ski lodge heaven. NOT.
Rather… we hit the slopes… and when I say “we” I mean “they”. I drove. My hips incapable of skiing and not just from this persistent injury but from surgery years before. I held much anticipation for this day as we’ve battled snowstorms, colds and flus and on not one but three separate occasions cancelled our trip from either poor driving conditions or a reading on the thermometer of a temperature above 98.6. Today however, things fell into place. The kids were quickly outfitted and with a run or two on the bunny hill… off they went.
Knowing nothing of skiing, with each time they headed up the chair lift I anxiously awaited their return. Panicking if I’d see ski patrol heading out on their snowmobiles… knowing in my heart there was a possibility they were gathering one of my broken and damaged children from the cold, harsh mountain…. possibly two. I could picture the massive sibling collision… I was in no way relaxed.
I had great fantasies of spending the day in the glorious ski lodge I’d seen in movies but instead of overstuffed couches, roaring fires and alcohol laced coffee I spent the day parked at an uncomfortable picnic-styled table… my behind molded to the pine slats on the bench. Reading was impossible as children were crying and folks loudly chit chatted over a competition between the television and a slightly off-station radio. The constant noise of ski boots hitting the treads of the wooden stairs as folks headed up for a bite to eat was only slightly less bothersome than the sound of the men shovelling the snow off the roof overhead.
The kids had a ball. With the exception of the multitude of times they came into the lodge to disturb my heavenly comfort and rifle through my wallet for a thirteen dollar beavertail and pop… they skied. Not together… as my hope for sibling bonding was hampered by the mere fact that my son is a slightly more experienced skier than his sister by two whole days. He not willing to slow down and wait and she wanting the confidence of her brother beside her… reminding me why we bring friends to such adventures as there is no way to expect siblings to participate in a fun activity together… cooperatively… without complaint.
I’m home now. Curled up on my overstuffed couch in front of the fire with a Baileys and book. The children are exhausted and happy… thrilled with their day and a promise of a return trip as I couldn’t help but be thrilled with the adventure… each recounting the numbers of runs they’d made… the laughter… the falls… the best time they’d had in “like forever”.
Red cheeks proof of the fun that was had… their cheeks… not mine.