We took a family vacation to Breckenridge last weekend. We visited family, went siteseeing, had some wonderful meals (if you go to Breck, have breakfast at the Columbine Cafe and dinner at The Motherloaded Tavern, trust me) and I taught my husband and daughter, M, the joys of rolling in snow and leaping into a hot tub at night.
My husband loves to snowboard, and wanted M (7) to learn. She took some lessons last year, but needed to practice. Her 2 year old sister also jumped on the board and toe-edged down a sledding hill, so she’ll need lessons too. Me? I don’t snowboard. I tried once, and it resulted in having a lovely, hour long conversation a woman from Hawaii while we lay face down in the snow and waited for someone to pick us up, so we could slide four feet and fall down again. I used to ski, but I have problems with depth perception, which have resulted in “mountain fever”–panic attack, essentially. But since I’m perfectly happy sitting in the lodge with my laptop and a cider, it works out for everybody.
M bravely got on the chairlift for the first time. She was scared, but a man behind her called out to her about how awesome she was to be boarding when she was so little. At the top, when she came off, she slipped and fell, badly twisting her knee. She was afraid to go further, until that stranger called to her again, telling her she could do it, that she’d be great. For some reason, having a stranger tell her she could do it made her stand up and try, and she did. My husband said the man was a terrible boarder, falling repeatedly, but laughing and calling to M that she was amazing, she was strong, she was doing great.
M told me about it later, laughing when she described him, but she said it made her so happy to see an adult trying and failing, and not being afraid. “I think when someone else believes you can do it, it’s easier to believe you can, too,” she said. “He was so cool.” We cheered her on too, of course, but somehow, that stranger just made her day.
So to that stranger, thank you. Your cheers and laughter helped my daughter get the courage she needed to take on that hill, and the following days, she did as many runs as she could, laughing and cheering herself on, and creating a victory dance when she reached the bottom. She talks eagerly of coming weekends when she, her dad and her grandma can go conquer those slopes again.