So I finally emailed myself a picture of the kids at Mt. Rose. I am scared to take my camera and leave it in the lodge...no lockers. So I have to use my cell phone, then email my pictures.
The kid's snowboarding class started on 'Ponderosa'. They boarded down one part, practicing what turning technique, when A turned to me and said, 'I have to go to the bathroom.' I looked around and thought...'Okay, he could go in the trees or we could try and make it down the mountain.' So I asked him if he could make it down the mountain to use the restrooms. He said, 'Sure.' We're nearly there when he said, 'Mom, I have to go NOW!' Understanding the word 'NOW'...having a weak bladder myself, a whole other story...I tell him, 'Go in those trees!' He went in and couldn't find a hiding place. We argued...there was no one around so it wouldn't matter if he was hidden or not...and I say, 'Just go!' By the time he was finished, his class had caught up with us. One of the other mom's, Jennifer, askes, with a confused look on her face...'Did he make it?' To which I replied, 'Not down the mountain.' She says, 'I love boys. They are so easy!'
So after our lessons and lunch, we hit the slopes again. By this time it's snowing a bit harder. The kids are having fun with the powder but it's a lot different to snowboard in. Falling is a huge part of our day. Our friends talk us into going up to 'Around the World'. So we head up the long lift to the top of the mountain. We get to the top and down the first steep part and guess who has to go to the bathroom again? Okay it's snowing and there are people all around us. I tell A to just go in the trees and to make it quick. I was getting cold. Seriously 15 min. later, he's finally ready to go. I thought I was going to freeze! He couldn't find a place...then he had to put his gloves back on...then he had to strap himself in...oh my gosh! I was trying so hard to be patient, all the while saying, 'Please hurry, A. I am really cold and it's snowing harder up here.' We get going and he can't turn...almost runs into a tree...isn't moving because there were flat parts and he didn't have enough speed to begin with. 'Oh, it's gonna be a long way down', I think. Then we get to one of the last really steep parts. Crazy steep. I felt like I was looking off a cliff steep.
So we're standing there debating whether to take this steep part or a more windy part that leads us back to this slope. While I was waiting for A to decide...we saw a little boy and his dad start down the steep part. He was 3 and his dad was holding onto him with 'reins'. They get to just about the end when the little boy skis into his dad, knocking them both over, and knocking one ski off his dad's boot. The dad got the boy up but before he could grab the 'reins', the little boy starts skiing down the hill. The father yells frantically, 'STOP, JEREMY, STOP! STOP, STOP, JEREMY!' The little boy keeps going...not fully aware that his dad isn't directly behind him. 'STOP, JEREMY, STOP!' pleads the dad. Finally, what seemed to be more than a few seconds...the little boy falls backwards and slides down the hill. His father has gotten his ski on and is by his son's side in a matter of seconds. As we stood at the top of the hill motionless...I could hear that sweet father ask if his son was okay. He was so tender with him. He said, 'Did I scare you?' 'Yes,' wimpered the boy. 'I'm so sorry. I couldn't grab the reins fast enough and off you went all on your own. I was scared and didn't know what else to do but to yell, STOP.'
Finally, A and I got to where they were sitting and I if they were okay. I asked the little boy how old he was. When he told me he was 3...I told him that I had a son who was 3. I also told him that he was an excellent skier and that he stopped really well. I asked the dad if he was okay too. I don't think I have ever heard panic for the safety of a child in a father's voice like I did in his. I was so glad that they were okay.
I don't have any cool or insightful analogy for this experience...I am sure if I thought about it I could totally come up with something that relates to our Heavenly Father. And one day I will...I just thought how tender that sweet father was to his son. I could totally tell that he truly loved him. There are good people all around us. People who love their families and want them to be happy.
We made it down the hill...eventually...but that father's love stuck with me and helped me to be more patient with A. Because I love him...it shouldn't matter how long it takes us to get down the hill...what matters is that we make it together. I love you, A. I may get super frustrated with you at times...but that will NEVER change how much I love you.