We had a great day skiing as a family this weekend. We took all the kids—even Annie in the backpack—and we all had a wonderful time. Instead of moments like this,
we had moments like this.
Despite Luke’s face, he had a great time. He was “whoo-hoo”-ing as he raced down the hill. Last season, our family ski trips were generally more boo hoo than woo hoo.
My husband and I both love skiing and skied with our families growing up. So we always figured skiing would be a great activity for our family. We started the kids out when they were tiny, three years old. At that age they loved it. They skied between our legs or with us holding them on a leash. They had no worries and just whooshed down the hill. When they fell down, we picked them up. But as Luke and Isabelle got older, we tried to teach them to ski on their own, get up on their own after a wipe out, and to turn rather than go straight down the hill. This was met with not your garden-variety kid resistance but with screaming, whining, crying, and all sorts of that kind of fun. Our little family activity became a nightmare.
We didn’t want to stop because the kids had enjoyed it before, and we were hoping we could get through the learning curve. Last year we vowed to take it easy, focus on the hot-cocoa-in-the-lodge fun, and go home when the kids got tired. We did, but it was still a painful season with lots of whining, crying, and begging for hot cocoa after just one run.
This year I took a look at the situation and decided I was going to eliminate my teaching agenda. After all, I remembered my dad commenting on every run about how to improve my skiing and it got pretty old. Plus, since moving, we ski at a small resort, and on the bunny hill, you can see all the runs and the lift at a glance. So I decided to let the twins just do what they wanted and enjoy.
They loved it. They sped straight down the hill and rode back again a million times. They taught themselves to turn since they had to avoid other skiers and make it to the lift line. They rode the lift without me, and we waved as we passed each other. We did have a few meltdowns. Once Izzy fell and her ski came off. I heard the wailing for miles away and got to her as fast as I could. And there was a lot of whining when one wanted to stop and the other go on. But all in all, we are back to enjoying skiing.
A few lessons learned in the ADHD family:
ADHD can make kids less emotionally mature than their actual age. Grin and wave at onlookers when your child is screaming bloody murder on a bunny hill.
If your child doesn’t take kindly to a lot of coaching, back off. Just let them do their thing, and you’ll all enjoy yourselves more.
Growing up will ease a multitude of pains. The meltdowns decrease and the rational thinking increases just because they are growing up. Many behaviors that threaten to send me over the edge and have me wondering how I (and they) can survive motherhood have simply diminished enough to make life more bearable. Glory be, this season felt like such a breakthrough on the slopes!