Living dangereusely by skiing waaaaay out in the land of erupting volcanos

hl4It has been a coon’s age since I have skied with either of the beach urchins. There was college and stints in Spain, Senegal, and Cali. I’m skiing with Mouse this weekend and I’m picking on my mouse a bit here (or maybe she doesn’t care) but I remember the days and some of the Mouse-isms…

— Carrying my Mouse in a backpack when she was nine months old. Her big sister (3-1/2) was on a cute little pair of skis and we were switching off kids. The GG was inbound, I was outbound and Liz was momentarily out of my sight a bit ahead and around a corner. I heard her say (to someone), “I am with my mommy and my daddy.” A couple had encountered her and *appropriately* asked. Like, what the heck is that teeny little munchkin doing out here alone. I rounded the corner with Mouse on my back and they understood. The Ski Ranch is one of the safest environments on earth for families. Except for the volcanoes but we’ll get there.

— The first time my 2-year-old Mouse used skis herself. She was burning up the trails even then but this was the second day out and the last day of the season (for us) and she was done done done. I said something about taking her out on the “Little Kid Loop” behind the ranch [disastrous choice of words] and was told in no uncertain terms, “I don’t want to go on the little kid loop.” A bit of a meltdown ensued. I picked her up, skis and all and carried her back into the ranch, telling Bob [ski ranch owner, not Uncly Uncle], “We’re done!” Bob’s kids are approximately my kids’ ages and he definitely got it.

— “Dad, when you die, can I have that?” (A tiny little disc-like container of skin cream that he bought at the ranch.) Funny, she never asked if she could have the GG’s bean bomb, also purchased there…

— The time we somehow got to HL without a decent pair of mittens for Mouse to wear. It was late in the season and the Ski Ranch did not have any beauteous pink or purple-colored mittens left. They did have a loverly pair of gray ones. I was thinking that would be a hard sell until I came up with a genius idea. “Mouse, aren’t those a pretty mouse-color?” Bob, being a decent salesman (and father), very gingerly began referring to the color as “mouse-colored” too and pretty soon he had a sale. And Mouse had mittens.

— And then there was the time Mouse was about five and we decided it would be a good idea to take the snow urchins out on the Manitou, a relatively long trail. Liz and the GG got ahead and Mouse and I were just slogging along. I don’t really think the trail was too long for my mouse physically but I do think she was bored with skiing at that moment and I was kind of wondering where the heck we were and if we’d ever get back to the Trapper’s Cabin. In the end, I was carrying all four ski poles and holding her hand. And then, out of the blue, my mouse piped up with, “Mom? I’ve been thinking about volcanoes too much.” Who knew?

— Finally… 13 years ago… Mouse said, “Mom when you are [insert age with a 0 at the end], I will be faster than you at skiing.” (Mouse was 14 then and ALREADY faster than me.) I started to open my mouth to make some kind of smart-alecky retort but stopped short as I realized, THAT’S ONLY 13 YEARS FROM NOW! Friends. That 13 years went fast. Mouse is still faster than me but I am faster than most of the traditional x-c skiers out there. I cannot beat the skaters. I do not even care to. But Mouse is waaaaay faster than me.

It was sooooo much fun skiing with my Mouse again today. It’s been a while. I posted a seven second video of her skiing down a hill on facebook today, so if we are friends there, you can see it. The photooo I posted here is of the GG and Mouse returning from a little snowshoeing expotition back in the swamp behind the Group Home. We didn’t have enough pairs of appropriate boots here for all three of us to participate but I needed a wee bit of Moom Alone time anyway so all was well. Mouse is wearing my old clodhopper boots, my fancy new “modern” snowshoes and a whole bunch of her own Mouseknit clothing.

I spent many years skiing along behind small children. It was slow and sometimes tedious and people got cold or bored or cranky or whatever (including me!). (And of course I got plenty of chances to ski unfettered.) I knew at the time that one day I would miss all of that. Friends, I am there now and I do sorely miss it.

P. S. Here are the Fleet Foxes for your listening pleasure. I love the band and I love the song along with about a gazillion other people, I guess. I sort of understand it but not totally but it kind of brings tears to my eyes. Not a whole lot of music does that.

Good night from the Group Home @ Houghton Lake,

One Response to “Living dangereusely by skiing waaaaay out in the land of erupting volcanos”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Love your skiing stories and memories. In our family it was hiking. We camped on Mt. Rainier and took several hikes with the little kids(Alison was a baby on one); we were headed up to a glacier and were halfway there with her on my back(Patt and I were trading off) when she pooped. I said to Patt, “I’m DONE.” I went back down to the campsite and had a beer.