Monday, November 23, 2009

Night Skiing

We've created a monster. Thanks to REI and an incredibly savvy department manager, Bear is now the proud owner of his own Alpina boots and skis, with an attitude to match. Now able to participate in Nordic lessons through our lovely Parks and Recreation department, Bear will join other 4-5 year olds in a once-a-week "lesson" (I use this term very loosely; I used to be a ski instructor)on the finer points of cross-country skiing. Yukon and I thought it was high time he got some skinny boards in preparation for his January class. Problem is, we can't get them off the child.

After two or three trips around the neighborhood during the daylight hours, and a lasagne dinner to fortify his little body, Bear announced that he wanted Yukon to take him skiing. Right Now. To the park.

In a flashback to my own Nordic ski opportunities, I recalled a four-day excursion to Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, WA as a child, where we went on a night-skiing adventure with the good-looking ski guide and then were relagated to the Lodge lobby while said guide, his wife, and our parents spent a few hours indulging in Apres' Ski beverages while we noshed on cookies and Shirly Temples, but I digress.

Wanting my own son to experience the mystery of skiing at night without the benefit of Alpine-area lighting, Yukon and I wholeheartedly endorsed the plan, stuffed Bear into his Carhartt overalls (yes, we ski in our Carhartts in Alaska, who cares what we look like?), headlamp, hat and mittens. The boys took off down the street and I was momentarily stopped for a second, watching my youngest navigate his skis and poles, remembering skiing adventures with my own dad.

Gone for about 30 minutes, I could tell they were coming back from the sound of "Angels We Have Heard On High" wafting from around the corner (Bear is practicing constantly for his debut as a sheep Christmas Eve). I opened the window and before I could even say "hello" a little voice shouted up to me.

"Mommy, we saw moose eyes at the park!!"

Now how can anyone compete with that? It's not every day one sees moose eyes and not the rest of the moose.

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