I’ll admit it. Sometimes I think I did myself and my kids a disservice by having them later in life. I don’t have these thoughts often, most of the time I’m perfectly happy with the decision, but then something will come along and BAM! Like life slapped me in the face with a big fat “I don’t think so!”
I used to ski – and occasionally snowboard – but the last time I was on the slopes was the year before I got pregnant. I find myself dying to get back to it. The boys are 5 and 7 – definitely old enough to learn. They’ve started at lessons.
I take them on weekends to a local ski and snowboard park. Hills aren’t that big, perfect for learning. I thought when they meant I had to be there with my 5 year old that it was like other programs – I had to be on site in case they needed me. I was imagining a free hour – I could get a lift ticket and go skiing, or maybe just bring a newspaper and sit in the chalet… But the fantasy was not to be.
Week one I show up in my cute booties, a short wool coat and leather gloves. I drop them off and the instructor hands me a leash and tells me to strap it on him and pull him over to the learning area.
I find myself with my kid, on the hill in my cute boots and wool coat. He’s strapped into his snowboard looking all thrasher cool and I’ve got a leash secured around his ankle. My job is to drag him around on his board for an hour to get him used to riding. The instructor is basically going to instruct the parents on what to get our kids to do. By week 2 we are dragging the kids up the hill and then running down after them or trying to control them as they learn how to stop, start, bear crawl, crab walk and basically ride.
Frankly, I could have used YouTube videos if I wanted to be on the hill for an hour dragging my kid around, we have some great free hills closer to home. But here’s the thing. I’m 44, no longer running 10K a day, no longer as active and in shape as I used to be.
I have a mom bod. I’m not ashamed to admit I carry a few extra pounds, and I’m comfortable in my mom jeans. However, I’m too old to be dragging a 72 pound child straight up a hill and then running down after him 7, 8 or 9 times in an hour.
I’m dying. The other 4 parents in my group are about 10 years younger than me. Although they’re not enjoying the whole thing any more than I am, I swear the instructor keeps a closer eye on me to make sure I don’t drop dead of a heart attack on his watch. While I might look good on skis, and my kids are loving snowboarding lessons, I can honestly not count the number of times I’ve muttered under my breath, “I’m too old for this gig…” while dragging him up the hill.
I did have one idea and the other parents agreed it might work – if we do another session of instruction I’m going to hand out flyers to the neighbourhood 20-somethings advertising “Snowboard Body Boot Camp” and charge them $25/hour for the workout. It’s honestly not a bad workout – just not for me!
(Though if my 20-something self had been parenting like this, she likely would have been hung over and dragging the little thrasher up the hill, writing a very similar rant about being to young and hip for this gig!)