It started about a month before our trip to California.
“Mommy – I don’t want to go skiing.”
I stopped what I was doing for a split second. I tried not to whip my head around and begin my campaign to convince him otherwise. Or at least not to yell, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN???!?”
Instead, I looked back down at my computer and said, “OK. Well, you don’t have to decide now. We can talk about it later.”
I knew that it wouldn’t serve me to push him – that would only cause him to retreat further into his corner and dig his heels firmly into a position of NO.
Everett overheard our conversation and immediately mimicked his brother. “Mommy, I’m not going skiing either.”
After last year’s successful first experience with skiing, I wasn’t prepared for this. I wasn’t prepared to coax and persuade Jasper to ski this year. I thought that he would just do it, especially since he would be taking ski lessons together with his cousins.
Actually, I was more concerned about Everett. Even though he seemed to love skiing last year, this would be first year he took real ski lessons. Since he’s one of the youngest amongst the cousins, he would be by himself and I wasn’t sure how that would go over. Even more so than Jasper, he is stubborn and refuses to budge once he’s made up his mind.
The next week, Jasper came to me and said, “Mommy, I only want to ski one day. How long are the lessons? I hope that they aren’t more than an hour.”
“OK,” I said but made no mention of the fact that ski lessons started at 10am and ended at 3:20pm.
By the time we left, he conceded that he would ski two days.
Last Monday, we dropped them both off at ski school. Jasper was excited but when it was time to follow the ski instructor through the door clearly marked, “Kids Only,” he clutched on to Ed. His lip started quivering and tears started pooling in his eyes and I thought he wasn’t going to do it but he followed her. When it was Everett’s turn, he took the instructor’s hand and followed her through another door with barely a look back.
In the end, Jasper skied three full days. At the end of his lessons, I met him and skied with him for another hour. He did really well – getting on and off the chair lift, turning, stopping and skiing with control (mostly). And fearless which is so unlike his normal cautious demeanor.
He was unstoppable. He wanted to keep going up the chair lift and race down the mountain. He didn’t want to stop and wait for his cousins to catch up. He just wanted to go again and again. I was so proud of him and giddy that he was starting to love skiing.
On the last day, instead of taking the gondola back down to the Village, we decided to ski all the way down. When he reached the bottom, he said, “Mommy? I just love skiing. Maybe we can ski on the East Coast too so I don’t have to wait a whole year to ski again.”
“Of course we can Jasper. But can you remember this? That you said you love skiing so we don’t have to go through all the whining and complaining again next year?”
He laughed. “Yes Mommy.”
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