Stage One: Sweet Misery
-At least 30 minutes of wriggly prep including wrestling on onesies, thermals, socks, snowsuits, hats, gloves, boots and helmets and then removal of half that due to a stinky.
-packing up of diapers, binkies, Goldfish, sippy cups and woobies, followed by hauling uphill of the all the aforementioned plus one’s own skis, boots, etc. up to the slopes.
-approximately 20-30 minutes of straight up adorableness on the bunny slope
-hot chocolate and cookie break while watching in awe as the big kids come down the mountain
-snowman building and snow angel making
-sweaty haul back to the room where either a hat or a mitten or a beloved woobie is discovered lost forever out in the snow.
-Tears, baths, nuggets for dinner, fall into bed.
Gamut of parental emotions: Excitement, frustration, exhaustion, frustration, serious doubt at one’s fitness to raise children, delight at how cute they are in snowsuits, discovery of unconditional love, excitement, exhaustion and more exhaustion.
Stress Level: 11 out of 10
Stage Two: Snowboarding Younguns
-trying to keep up once they’re coached up and officially faster than their parents
-breaks for blue Gatorade, candy bars and sugar diabetus
-hot tub shenanigans followed by jumping half naked into a pile of snow
-missing your sweet babies in snowsuits who have somehow been replaced by two cocky, hilarious neon and cammo-clad mini Shaun Whites.
Gamut of parental emotions: Shock and awe, resignation that you are no longer cool, exhaustion.
Stress Level: 6 out of 10
Stage Three: Teens a.k.a. Meet You For Lunch
-shelling out cash
-watching them lose it reading ski run names like Organ Grinder and Beaver Run
-texting where to meet up for lunch
-shelling out more cash
-yelling that you are not a maid would you please throw away all those water bottles and pick your wet ski clothes up off the floor and give me back my phone charger
-amusement at their comical recounting of the day’s gnarly wipeouts and shweet victories
Parental emotion: Relief that you don’t have to keep up anymore.
Stress Level: 5 out of 10, but only at night when they go into town.
Stage Four: The Payoff Years
-downloading their playlist “Shred Gnar Pow 2019” on your Spotify
-gratefully sitting back and letting them read trail maps and lead the way down the mountain
-collectively losing it over ski run names like Devil’s Crotch and Clamhopper
-enjoying apres ski beverages together
-playing card games they’ve learned in college
-laughing at all the old stories from the ski trips you’ve taken together over the years.
Gamut of parental emotions: Amazement that they actually want to hang out with you, sheer bliss flying down the mountain together, warm fuzzies watching them genuinely enjoy each others company, gratitude for their sweetness and patience, pride that you haven’t messed them up too badly over the years, desperate hope that you can all do it again next winter.