Last week, while I was on Spring Break, my boyfriend and I took my baby sister skiing. My parents (and boyfriend) live close enough to the mountains that we can get up early in the morning and drive to the slopes in New Mexico. It makes for a long day, but it’s also a total blast.
Jamey had never been skiing before and was dying to go. Because she is the youngest of six, she often feels like she gets left out of things. Plus, she thinks she’s sixteen and has the attitude of a teenager.
Weeks ago, she convinced Colby and me to take her to the mountains. That was a great plan until we actually drove three hours and realized that there was no snow. The ski lifts were open, but it was all the fake crappy stuff. We stayed positive and rushed to get Jamey into ski school.
This is where things went bad. We rushed to rent our gear and buy our lift tickets. We searched everywhere for the ski school. When we finally found it, we we’re dismayed to learn that they had stopped taking new students ten minutes before. Ten minutes.
This is where Colby and I’s eyes popped out of our heads. We aren’t ski instructors. I’m not that great at skiing and he’s out of shape and old (Yes, I consider 28 old). Surely we wouldn’t be expected to actually teach her ourselves. It was an insane proposition!
But what else were we to do? We carefully began to explain to her the general idea of skiing. We taught her how to buckle her boots and attach her skis. We reminded her that “it was easy for little kids.” (That’s what my father repeatedly told her every single day leading up to the trip.)
That’s when hell started. Jamey could not get her balance enough to stand up on the skis. Colby and I had no idea how to teach her. We pleaded, we bribed, we held her up, but she couldn’t seem to get the way things we’re supposed to go.
Finally, my heroic boyfriend carefully placed her between his legs and held her up as they skied along. She was smiling and happy, he was hurting a little more each minute. It just wasn’t natural for him to be leaning over like that.
This went on for about an hour until Jamey had developed some kind of confidence and a tiny bit of balance. I then skied up next to her and took her hand. After several words of encouragement, she finally released my hand and began to ski alongside me. Colby and I were totally excited. We kept encouraging her: “Good job, Jamey,” and “You rock, kid.”
Because she was doing so well, we decided to take the lift to the top of the mountain and ski the three-mile trail back down the mountain. It was an easy slope and I figured it was all my idea. I only realized that my idea was completely stupid when we reached the top of the mountain and Jamey freaked out. She just couldn’t handle the “really steep part” and wouldn’t see anything my way.
My baby sister is a stubborn sucker. She refused to ski down the mountain and demanded that Colby or I hold her up. It was the longest three miles of my entire life. Jamey wasn’t enjoying it either. At one point, she glared at me and said, “I’m never never never going skiing again. I can’t believe you thought it was a good idea to take me skiing. This isn’t easy.” She actually popped her skis off and walked the last mile of the slope.
After like twelve million hours, we reached the bottom of the mountain. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll ever go skiing again. I can say for sure that I will never try to teach another child to ski. It was horrible. My amazing boyfriend did a wonderful job of being supportive and keeping his cool. I was grumpy for quite a while, but I will admit that I had quite a little bit of fun.