Great Winter Mistake

We haven’t had the easiest time getting the kids out in the snow. Jackson got snow in his mitten, or down his snow suit, or down his tighty-whiteies when he was tiny, so it was touch and go trying to get the kids to leave the house in the winter, to revel in the arctic variety of crap weather New England showers upon us.

But this year we turned the corner… this year we have had a couple wildly successful Gatchell Park sledding trips. So what shows up on the family agenda? Skiing. Apparently it’s now crucial to teach the kids how to ski. What!? Why!? Because their friends might learn how to ski and they’ll feel left out if they don’t ski.

Don’t get me wrong. Skiing is tons of fun. It really is. But it’s almost never worth the trouble or expense, and it’s really only fun after you’ve learned how to not die at it. The dirty secret about skiing is that sledding is more fun. People don’t like to talk about such things, but injected with truth serum, people will invariably admit that sledding is more fun than skiing, boogie boarding is more fun than surfing, and tubing is more fun than kayaking… especially if you’re going down the Saco river with a case of beer. Skiing is really only advisable if you’re Scandinavian AND you think you might have to fight the Russians on mountains. Otherwise… skiing is a mistake. It, like golf, should not be started, and if started on accident, it should be quickly quit.

Skiing was always expensive, but now it’s hellaholy%$#! expensive. Good luck finding a daily lift ticket for less than $50, and places like Vail are now charging something like $160 a day… for one person… not including a bloody mary. Then there’s the traipsing… lets not forget the traipsing if you have little kids. Unless you are a New Hampshire live free or dier or a Vermont granolaista, you’re looking at minimum an hour’s drive to get to anywhere decent… and probably much longer.

Your nightmare begins early as you pack a lunch and the little monsters into the minivan, forget something expensive that you’ll need to replace in the ski shop at the mountain, navigate the rental lines (not sure if they like this yet!), give a kidney for lift tickets, talk child one back into skiing as they try to not try skiing at the last minute, get their snow pants and boots on, take the snow pants and boots off one because he needs to use the bathroom even though you asked if he needed the bathroom before you put the boots and snow pants on, get their snow pants and boots back on, carry their skis and poles up to the base of the bunny hill, clip in their boots, pick one up as they fall over, and… if you’re lucky… hand a couple hundred dollar bills to the ski instructor and run like effing hell until you’re out of earshot.

If you’re unlucky… or suffer masochistic tendencies… you’ll be the parent “teaching” your kids how to ski. Good luck with that. You’re probably better off cracking a wine glass across the counter and jamming the jagged stem into your eye. Chances are overwhelming your young kids will hate skiing and/or you after a couple hours, but it’s not like you can just whip out a plastic sled at that point. No… at that point you’re stuck on a mountain, with a stupid sticker on a wire on your zipper, .with a whining or full-on-crying kid, with a headache like a hangover you didn’t earn, and without the kidney you left in the ski shop.

You could have been sledding.