“I don’t want to go!” Clinging to our legs, tears streaming down her cheeks, K begged for us to stay. L ran past the counter-high gate but returned just as quickly when she realized her sister wasn’t coming.
“Come on, L. You be the big sister and hold K’s hand,” I encouraged L. K pulled her hand away and L looked at us. L didn’t quite know what to do. I know what she was thinking. If we gave into K and let her leave with us, L didn’t want to be left behind.
“You know, she’s going to stop crying once we’re out of sight,” T whispered to me. He recognized the crying for what it was. It wasn’t a “I don’t want to ski” cry. It was a “I don’t want you to go” cry.
So I maneuvered my way out of K’s arms. L was already standing by T. I slipped out the double glass doors. T made sure they were both inside the gate before he hurried out as well. The instructors locked the front doors. We stood outside out of sight for a few minutes. L joined K’s cries for a minute and then silence. We knew it. We just had to get out of there. We’ve played this scene out a few times before now (e.g., first days at preschool, first days at Kids Club, etc.).
Snowflakes Ski School at Tahoe Donner Ski Resort has an excellent reputation. They have a large staff trained in working with small children. So, no doubts that the girls would be in good hands. They just had to get over the tearful first dropoff process.
After about ½ hour, we headed over to the little Magic Carpet lift and ski hill. The girls got to ride with the class in a little wagon pulled by a snowmobile up to the hill. Camera ready, camcorder set, we documented this momentous event. We knew they were having fun when they waved at us shouting, “Hi Mommy! Hi Pappa!” then promptly ignored us as they stepped onto the Magic Carpet lift.
L and K did grrrrrrrrrrrreat in their first ever downhill ski lesson [if I do say so myself]. They quickly picked up the pizza technique (aka snowplow for us old timers) but they chose not to practice it much when they realized it slowed them down Ha ha ha You see, they’ve been cross-country skiing several times and have already encountered hills like this. Pappa taught them to bend their knees and go. To have to point their ski tips inward to slow down didn’t really make sense. I mean, we’d been telling them these lessons would be FUN FUN FUN ‘cause they were going to learn to go FAST FAST FAST. So why were the instructors showing them how to slow down?
After a couple runs, K didn’t bother waiting for the instructors to help her. She pointed her skis straight down the hill and let them run. Giggling and waving at us on the side, she sped down the hill. Soon, L joined K, not waiting for the instructors either, giggling as she took off.
On the side, we applauded their daring. I guess it’s no wonder they didn’t listen to the instructors once they got going. T knew what he was talking about – it was an easier transition from cross-country to downhill skiing. The girls just proved it.
At pickup, the instructors said they’re ready for Level 2 or Level 3 in the school. A proud Pappa and Mommy moment for sure.