Thursday, March 7, 2013

Carpe le diem

So here we are in March, or "march! march! march!" as Helen used to say when she was two years old and wanted to get things moving again. Thus, a selection of activities behind which I have been wearily tagging along:

1. Over the weekend we went to Winter Park (to ski), Frisco (to sleep, mostly, and also order waaay overpriced pizza) and Steamboat Springs (more of the ski) (sigh) (I am getting to the point where I think as we leave the ski area parking lot at the end of the day, "Well, one less ski day to go in this life." I suspect my relief is deeply unhealthy.) While in Steamboat, Helen carpe-ed the diem and talked us into fulfilling her lifelong dream of bungee trampolining:

Embiggen for her expression of anticipation.
Was it as good as she dreamed it would be? She said yes.
2. While fulfilling Helen's lifelong dream cost only $10, Silas has been badgering us for a little more payout. "It's time to make some Spring Break plans," I told him wearily the other night, thinking that if we had a plan, we might be able to avoid some of the wretched fights* of the past two long weekends. "Hawaii?" he said immediately, lighting up. "No, that's too--well, sure, price it out, kiddo. See how much it would cost to fly four of us to Hawaii."

Twenty minutes later he looks up from the computer screen and says, "$3,384. How much do you make again?"

I explained about budgeting and vacations and If We're Going To Spend That Kind Of Money, feeling like a miserly fool (well, why can't we use one month's salary for a four-day trip to the most expensive destination you can reach without a passport?), and also like I walked right into this one.

"What if just you and me go?"

 "Sweetheart, we're not going to spend our entire vacation budget on a trip for two of us."

"But I want to go to Hawaiiiiii."

"It's just not very realistic for a trip three weeks from now."

And etc. At least it didn't end with weeping, if I'm remembering correctly, which I'm probably not.

3. The ironic thing is that we've spent nearly that amount to get us all skiing, a dream destination vacation for people all over the world (especially that trip to Wolf Creek. Damn. Four feet of snow in 48 hours.) Si is only vaguely aware of this expense; he mostly notices the imperfections of the experience, such as the lack of suitable ski partners (Mom's too slow, Dad's too good, and cousin can't goooo), the irritating length of the drive to get there, the fact that getting there involves leaving at particular times not of his very own choosing. The fact that in order to get to skiing tomorrow, less Minecraft must be played today. Also, we said he DID choose this and he DID NOT, we're LYING, he DID NOT choose this.


(For Pete's SAKE, kid. Let it GO.)

I hesitate to leap into this run. Si no longer does.
 In any case, we all went skiing this weekend, as I mentioned above, and Si was enthusiastic and engaged as soon as we left the premises. He made great strides in his skiing this weekend, or so I heard. I myself was straggling along behind Helen, who is still in the Very Cautious phase of her skiing career, which tends to lead to one grownup or the other being dissatisfied with the skiing experience at the end of the day. Skiing with Helen also makes it difficult for me to determine exactly where I am in my own skiing development - I am definitely better than I ever have been, but I still have a visceral dislike of speed. I am not exactly slow, but I am deliberate. And I am exactly slow when it comes to trying to keep up with Silas, even, as of this weekend, on the bumps (I used to be able to keep up with him on the bumps.)

So the discussion then becomes: in what ways is my blithe admission that I will never be as good a skier as my 11-year-old son demonstrating blind adherence to these familial patterns?

Familial patterns that are not mine, by the way, and don't really get under my skin in a significant way, but which are perhaps more worrisome to M for stemming from his own history. Will this be the shoal on which our family founders? Unlikely, I maintain. Nevertheless, I try to put on my game face and at least make a good show of pretending in company that I want to be a middle-aged first-time extreme skier.

(To which I say: HA. And also: is it time to stop for hot chocolate yet?)

I'm always taken by how much skiing is like sledding, except for the cost. It makes it harder to take seriously.

* We had a taste of teenager this past weekend. On the surface the fight, which was full family, and lasted approximately TWO HOURS, which is insane, was about monitor time and also the frankly minor rhetorical point that while we said that Silas said that his choice was to go to Winter Park on the way to the condo, he said that he did NOT in fact say this. Below the surface, of course, the fight was about control, and how we wish he enjoyed different leisure activities, and how sometimes this wish comes across as wishing he was a different person.

1 comment:

Alien in CH said...

"Deliberate" is the only way to ski. Keep us the good work, and remind your family that of all the moms in the world, you are among the few who are willing to even give the slopes a try (that sometimes works in our family).