Monday, September 30, 2013

Third Parent

The first couple days of a ski trip I took with my family to Lake Tahoe when I was 11 in 1985 were horrendous. A blizzard overtook us when we were trying to enjoy the slopes, and it was two degrees below zero at the top of the mountain. Being a prepubescent kid, I did not take kindly to the cold or the lack of visibility. I was used to skiing in the local mountains where it was sunny, and I could hold both my poles in one hand and snow plow with ease. I was fearless because I had so little space between the top of my head and the ground: not far to fall. I learned to ski when I was 7, and by the end of the day, I was zipping around like a pro.

Not in Tahoe. I cried, bitched, and moaned because my fingers were frozen. I got so angry that I threw my new white gloves down the slopes, and my mom had to carefully retrieve them as the snow whizzed past our faces. My mom was so mad at me for throwing my gloves that she said to me, while still on the mountain, “We are never taking you skiing again.” I didn’t believe her. She wasn’t kidding. They never took me skiing again. Instead I took up snowboarding in my 20s. But not before I found myself hovered over a hibachi at the lodge thawing my frozen fingers after the last run down the mountain as a skier.