Every parent thinks that their child in the most amazing in the world. When they finger paint we see Picasso, when they make noises we think they will be the next Mozart, and when they take their first run we see Lindsay Vonn. So when I tell the tale of my daughter’s first time on a snowboard, please know that I am aware that reality may be far from my perception. But I happen to think I saw a little Shawn White yesterday.
My daughter is a vivacious (couldn’t sit still without duct tape) 3 year old that I have been promising to get onto a snowboard all winter. My husband and I are both snowboarders, he much better than I, so it didn’t really make sense for us to start her off of skis. That and I have an image in my head of family trips with my little girl shredding past adults trying to get off of their butts. So when I took her out on Tuesday, the goal was to get her to like it enough to convince her to take a real lesson someday.
She struggled to walk in boots one size too big as we walked toward the bunny hill. “I’m tired already, Mama.” Uh-oh, I’m losing her already. I strapped her into her board and held her hand as she slid down the hill. “Okay, now stand on your toes a little” I directed. She did as asked and started turning slightly to the right. “Now try to stop,” I said, wondering where her instincts would take her. She immediately put pressure on her heels, the board turned parallel to the hill and she stopped. Okay, I can work with this.
We made our way over to the Magic Carpet, which she thought was fun but was a little disappointed that she didn’t get to fly. On her second run, about 10 feet down, I hear her little voice saying “Mama! Let Go!” I let go of her hand and loosely hold her hood so she won’t know I’m there. As she starts picking up speed I panic a little and start to pull her back. A long slow S is left behind her. We’re doing okay.
For run three, I am not allowed to help her off the magic carpet – she can do that herself now. For the next three runs I pull her from the lift to the top of Wooly Bear but after that I am not allowed to touch her. She’s doing it by herself. When did my baby get so big?! I can only compare the amount of pride I felt that moment to when she took her first steps. My baby girl is going to shred someday…soon.