Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Five Minutes, Five Yards

We are an outdoor family, meaning that our main form of entertainment consists of any activity that will get us outside and away from our desks, computers, video games, and dvd's. So when Yukon and I first met, a top criteria for our future together was the other person's desire to spend time in God's country enjoying the wilderness, ocean, etc. Naturally we assumed when we had children, this would continue. We must have been out of our minds.

For weeks we had been looking forward to our trip to Homer, if nothing else than for some great cross-country skiing with our Friend and her little daughter. Homer, for some reason, has been getting the lion's share of the snow that Anchorage usually does. Thus, upon our arrival in the little village, at least 20+ inches of the white stuff was on the ground. Yukon was more than ready to strap on the skinny boards and do some schussing down the trail, and I certainly was. Older son Wolf was as ready as any teenager is to do anything. A monosyllabic "yuh" was all we needed from him. Then came Bear.

Bear, not unlike his blog pseudoname, is a bit independent, and a bit too into his own world, as many toddlers are. He loves to be outdoors, and he loves to ski, as long as it is on his terms. On this particular day, the terms would not have satisfied a Union negotiator.

After two hours of getting ready (those of you with children will attest to the phenom that occurs when you get ready to do anything in the snow with kids; it takes two hours to prepare them and take the double shot of Jack Daniels to see you through), we were finally in the truck, dutifully following Friend to a lovely area at which to ski. Talking incessently about skiing, Bear hollered to "get me out" upon our arrival at the trailhead, got his little skis, and slogged to the start area before any of the rest of us could even say "not yet".

Unfortunately, the planets that allow skiing must not have been in alignment that day, for about five yards down the trail, Bear decided he wanted to walk. On a pleasant summer's day in Homer, I am sure the trail is a delightful place to walk; however, with 20 inches of wet and heavy snow, and he being only 30 inches high, well, you get the picture.

Whining, then violent protesting, and finally, flailing insued. I, and Friend, frustrated with the culmination of hours of preparation, picked both children up (for her child now did not want to go, either) by the straps of their little ski suits and dumped them into the sled where they continued to thrash about and cry until the tears began to freeze on their eyelids. No kids winning this battle, nosiree.

It turned out to be a great day. Bear got his way and walked most of the trail, pissing off no doubt countless skiers who had hoped for groomed cross-country skiing and instead found size 9T boot tracks on the route. Yukon got some great skiing in with Wolf and another friend, for they bailed as soon as the whimpering started. Cowards.

Best part was, I got a heck of a workout. Bear, tired of walking at least a mile in the snow (duh), would not ride in the sled w/ Friend's child on the way back and made me piggyback him for the return trip.


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