Right now my family is on a “working” vacation at Shanty Creek Resort in northern Michigan. As a travel writer, every so often I have the opportunity to go check out great destinations for stories I’m writing, and locations in our home state of Michigan are my favorite to cover.
But if you knew me, you might think it kind of funny that I’m writing about a ski resort. For one thing, I’m sort of a klutz, and I’m not even close to being a thrill-seeker. I’m the nervous Nellie warning you to slow down, drive more carefully, keep both eyes on the road. I’m the one who stands back at least 10 feet from the ledge, even if there’s a three-foot titanium fence surrounding the perimeter.
And I’ve always insisted that I have no interest in downhill skiing. Hurtling down a hill with my feet attached to narrow sleds does not sound like my kind of fun. The probability of falling, of getting snow in my sleeves and down my neck, sounds awful. The possibility of falling and hurting myself sounds even worse. And let’s face it, one way or the other I’m gonna fall, and it’ll be embarrassing at least. Softly, slowly snowshoeing over quiet, soft terrain – or at least sledding, when my rear end is almost touching the ground – is much more my speed.
But. This year my son Jacob joined his school’s ski club and has been loving it. He’s really excited about hitting the slopes tomorrow. The other boys are looking forward to trying. My husband’s already studied the maps and planned his attack. With all this excitement, how can I refuse to get involved? Even if my only contribution is a funny story to pass around for decades about the day Mom face-planted on the hill.
I’ve written before about how sometimes, parenting means facing your fears and embracing things you aren’t sure you want to do. How motherhood can improve you, relax you, give you courage, or simply shove you head-first into something you otherwise would never try, if only because it would make the small people in your life really, really happy.
And so. Tomorrow, I ski.
But it’s never too late to try something new, right?
Please tell me I’m going to enjoy this.
I’m halfway through a four-week series of mini-resolutions: small, simple improvements I’m making in different areas of my life. This week I’m focusing on “family”. I hope you’ll join me!