Winter’s Tales

Winter has started, in ernest, with the onset of our local ski programs. Other places have recreational t-ball, I know, and maybe year-round soccer…we have skiing. Volunteer, parent-run (which up here often means former Olympian parent-run) nordic and alpine skiing, and who wouldn’t want that? So Sam has two days a week of nordic and one of alpine (and that makes us a non-downhill family, by local standards, the kids in the racing program do 4-5 days a week at  8), and Lily has one of each, and we’re pretty much out of the playdate circuit for the forseeable future–but then, so are most of their friends. I don’t really think of it as an organized activity, but more like mandatory outdoor play–because it’s always tempting when it gets cold to just throw another log on the proverbial fire and hole up, and we can’t do that (I volunteer in both programs). So on the one hand, too much on the schedule, and on the other–we’re never inside for more than a day or two in a row.

Sam’s been a happy participant in these for three years now, but it’s Lily’s first year of organized either. Yesterday was the beginning of nordic, and it was chilly, and windy, and getting Sam over to his team and me to my coaching spot meant pretty much helping her get her skis on and wishing her luck. I worried the whole hour, but I shouldn’t have, because here’s her description: Me and Molly and Jessie were the fastest, so we got to go around the track a WHOLE EXTRA TIME! and Molly’s Dad was the coach, and there was one girl I didn’t know, and she was Greta, and her dad was the other coach, and do you know what? (What?) In the middle we got to ski to Suzi and we got THREE COOKIES!”

So, that seems to have gone well. I love Nordic, she said, several times today. I love it. Downhill was also a success, but that’s a little more of a sure thing than shuffling yourself around the Dartmouth rugby field in the cold. So far, we’ve had real luck with this stuff–I know plenty of families whose kids just put their foot down and refuse. I’ve yet to have a kid turn down an activity, although we’ve had some pretty unenthusiastic (as in, sobbing and howling) days of soccer and even skiing from Wyatt, so we’ll see if it takes for him. Three’s too young to tell, and two years away from either of these programs. Which means that by the time he’s in kindergarden rec nordic or downhill, he’ll have been doing both for three years already. Rory will have two under her belt, and she was born for any sport you can name. I’m hoping we’ll be in this program for a long time to come!

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