All moms are brave. For that matter, all parents are brave. The kids who end up in our families are also brave. Living life with other people takes bravery (and compassion…tolerance…love…). That said, ski moms are especially brave. Ski moms start out as moms. We give birth to our children, we bring them into our homes, we don’t take a formal vow as in a marriage, but we take mental vows that are almost as strong and solemn. We are there for our children for better or worse and until death do us part. We strive to nurture our children, to enrich their lives and to protect them.
So what do we do? We put them on skis the moment they can walk and push them down a hill. When they fall, we brush them off and, smiling broadly, encourage them to do it again. We endure their complaints of the cold. We clean hot chocolate off of their adorable parkas and we grit our teeth on the bunny slope thinking “Someday, we’ll all be able to ski as a family. This will pay off.”
And then it happens. You can ski as a family, only now your adorable powder pappoose is screaming down the mountain at Mach 10, weaving in and out of the trees and asking you to scout landings at the bottom of cliffs. This may be the pay-off you were hoping for, but it often comes with more drama than you may have expected. Now you, as a ski mom, have a choice. You can be the worrier, or you can take a deep breath and cheer them on. You can warn them off, fret and lecture, or you can simply join in. And that is how I got my name, the “Brave Ski Mom.” I joined in.
More specifically, I took my kids to ski-racing camp at Mount Hood, Oregon and, along with another mom, was invited to join in. We moms spent part of a morning running gates, doing drills and laughing our foolish heads off. As we took the chairlift back up to the top of the Palmer Snowfield, our riding companion, an older European man, asked us if we were ski moms.
We answered in the affirmative and he replied with a shake of his head, “you are brave ski moms.” I’ve worn this title with pride ever since. This is not to say that I don’t worry about my offspring when they are on the slopes.
But I love skiing, and I love skiing with my family. I love to see their skills improve and I am thrilled that they can ski anything and everything and enjoy every moment. They joined me in my passion for the sport, and I’ve joined them in pushing myself to match their enthusiasm for speed and human flight. One of the wonderful benefits of skiing is that it builds self-confidence …self-confidence and bravery.
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