just a small puddle

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how my fourteen-year-old son broke his arm snowboarding.  A few days later I described his incessant begging to be allowed to snowboard despite the cast on his arm.

Last weekend, I caved completely, and he spent the whole day on the slopes.  We woke up Sunday to piles of fresh powder, and I simply couldn’t take the pleas a minute longer.  He spent half of Saturday whispering, “YOLO, Mom.  YOLO.” (You only live once).

He returned Sunday with a giant grin on his face.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Today was the best day of my life,” he said.

“Really?” I laughed.

“Seriously, Mom.  Someday I will tell my grandchildren about the day I shredded the BC gnar pow with a broken arm.”  (BC=back country.  gnar pow=gnarley powder)

My son’s back country experience occurred eight days ago, but yesterday I let him snowboard again.  There are times in my experience as a mother when I simply can’t ignore my child’s unbridled enthusiasm, and the past couple weeks have been an obvious reminder of that.

Around noon my son met up with me, and asked if I would head over to the west lodge and sign a release form so he could enter a snowboard competition.

“What type of competition?” I asked.  “Is it a race?”

“No,” Cole replied.  “It’s not a race.  You have to snowboard down the hill and make it across this man-made puddle.  They are giving away Lib Tech Boards.”

My son covets the highly sought-after, highly expensive Lib Tech boards.  Still, I needed to know more about this competition.

“Do you have to do a trick or jump across the water?”

My son became increasingly elusive.  He employed all his powers of persuasion without actually describing the puddle he would be boarding across.

We headed over to the west lodge so I could take a look myself.

The man-made PUDDLE!!!

The man-made PUDDLE!!!

The puddle was the length of a swimming pool.  I spoke to the man putting the finishing touches on the water feature.  “Is it hard to get across?” I asked.

He shook his head.  “It’s pretty easy to get across,” he said.  “Of course some people dive in on purpose.”

“Why on earth would anyone dive in on purpose?”

“There is a prize for biggest splash,” he said.

At this point I glared at my son who refused to make eye contact, and I knew without a doubt he was planning to attempt biggest splash.

We bickered, but in the end, his twinkly eyes and winning smile got the best of me.  Cole, broken arm and all, went for biggest splash yesterday and was beaten by the only little girl in the competition who crashed completely and had to be saved by ski patrol.  Still, he loved every minute of it.

Cole, soaking wet after his biggest splash.  Afterwards, he spent several hours with a hair dryer attempting to dry out his cast.

Cole, soaking wet after his biggest splash. Afterwards, he spent several hours with a hair dryer attempting to dry out his cast.

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my resolve is weakening

Years ago, I had a labrador retriever named King Oberon.  He had a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder; he simply could not stop playing fetch.  If he could see a tennis ball but was unable to reach it, he would pace hysterically.  He would pause with the ball in view and jump repeatedly trying to capture the ball for himself.  He barked, whined, yelped, and twitched nervously until someone came along and threw the ball for him to chase down.

Our black lab, King Oberon.  March 1994 - January 2005

Our black lab, King Oberon (March 1994 – January 2005) with my two oldest. They used to be so cute, now they are just messy and demanding.

My fourteen-year-old son is exactly the same way when it comes to snowboarding.  He sees snow and begins to pace, twitch, and whine until you release him to the slopes.

Unfortunately, you know by my last blog post, Cole broke his arm snowboarding a few days ago.  He spent most of yesterday attempting to convince me to allow him to snowboard despite the cast on his left arm.  Following are a list of his pleas, which I will translate for you:

“Mom, can I please go shred the gnar-pow?”

TRANSLATION:  Mom, can I please go snowboarding; it snowed recently and the powder is gnarly (in this case, gnarly is a good thing)

“Mom, I promise I won’t go BC, and I won’t hit anything jenky.”

TRANSLATION:  I promise I won’t go into the back country, and I won’t go down anything too treacherous.

“I’ll totally zag the wells and skirt the bomb holes.”

TRANSLATION:  I will avoid tree wells and deep holes.  (a tree well is the area directly beneath a pine tree where the branches protect the ground from snow thus creating a giant well or hole.  A bomb hole is an area of ungroomed terrain where the snow has settled or caved-in thus creating a pit.)

“Please, Mom, I won’t even lob the rollers.”

TRANSLATION:  I won’t launch myself off jumps.

My son is exactly like my labrador, and I must admit his constant whining is weakening my resolve.  By next weekend, I may cave completely, and if I let my son snowboard with a cast on his arm, I will either be the most neglectful mom in the world, or the most awesome mom in history.

However, if I let him go, I plan to remind him that if he breaks his other arm, no one in this family will help him use the bathroom.

Cole's cast.  It took me three tries to get this photo.  My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as snapped the picture

Cole’s cast. It took me three tries to get this photo. My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as I snapped the picture

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.