I did fifty percent of what you told me to do

My kids are on mid-winter break from school and have the week off.  We are staying up at the mountain for a week of skiing.  Yesterday, my son left the condo and headed to the terrain park to meet some friends and snowboard.  Before he left, I said, “Say no to drugs.”  When my children leave the house, I always remind them to say no to drugs.  My children are not heroin addicts, so obviously my consistent use of this phrase is working.

So, my son walks out the door and I say, “Say no to drugs and don’t get hurt.”

Two hours later, I get a phone call from the ski patrol.  Now, a phone call from the ski patrol is never a good thing.  They never call and say, “Wow! We just wanted to phone and express how sincerely impressed we are with your son.”  They only call when bones are sticking out or brains have been concussed.

After x-rays, we discover that my son has broken his left arm, AGAIN! Geeze, drink some milk kid; take a calcium supplement.

In the emergency room, as we wait for the nurse to cast his arm, I say, “What did I tell you before you left this morning?”

“You said, say no to drugs and don’t get hurt.”

“Exactly!”

“So,” he said in his defense, “I did fifty percent of what you told me to do.”

I gave him the stink-eye

“I see your point,” he said.  “Fifty percent is still an F.”

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dirty, little gummy worm

Today I went skiing all by myself.  I prefer to ski alone.  When I ski with my children, they make fun of me.  I’m too slow; my turns are dorky; I’m a safety Nazi.  When I ski with my husband, he bombs down the mountain, pops in the lodge, has a sandwich, a beer, and piece of chocolate cake before I finally meet him at the bottom.

Skiing alone is great.  I enjoy the mountain, get a little exercise, and I don’t need physical therapy or a knee replacement at the end of my day.

On my second run, I rode up on the chairlift with three little boys.

“We’re going down the face,” the boy sitting next to me said.

“Yeah,” the other chimed in.  “We kinda suck, but we like to brag at school that we went down the face.”

“Besides,” the third friend added, “It doesn’t matter if you are good or not.  When you brag about going down the face, you sound good.”

I smiled and nodded; the kid had a reasonable point.

Then, the boy sitting next to me asked, in a tone laced with superiority, “Are you going down the face?”

“No,” I said, “I am going down Debbie’s Gold.”

At this point, the boy turned to his friends, rolled his beady eyes inside his giant goggles, and in a snotty tone, said, “Blue Square.”

“Listen, you dirty, little gummy worm,” I barked, “I don’t need your judgment.  I am a good person, and a decent skier, and your mother never wanted you!”

OK, I didn’t actually say this out loud, but I thought it loudly in my head.

We reached the top of the lift and prepared to disembark.  As I stood, the gummy worm shoved his pole between my knees and knocked me over.

“Sorry,” he said, with a creepy little grin.

It’s OK.  I don’t hate him.  I am fairly confident that nine-year-old is going to have a month of bad karma.  His dog will run away; his bike will get stolen, and he will be the only kid in the fourth grade not to receive a Valentine’s Day card.