If you were to ask what our family did this past weekend, I’d tell you the truth: We quite literally and figuratively were hanging out together at Monarch Mountain, a delightful family-friendly ski area just a couple hours southwest of Colorado Springs. “Hang” is the operative word here.
On Saturday, Jean and I took Trent and Troy up to Monarch for a day of skiing. The air was warm and the sun was shining. We really had a terrific time—but there was an “incident.” Fortunately we can laugh about it now.
Novice skiers—or parents with novice skiers—will tell you the hardest part of the sport isn’t the actual skiing. It’s getting on and off the lift.
Troy is our seven-year-old and he’s picked up the sport like a champ. But this past Saturday as we hustled to hop onto the moving chair lift and get him situated, he slipped. In the process of trying to help him I dropped my poles and he fell from his seat.
The operator must not have been paying attention because the lift continued to move forward. In a matter of seconds, I was literally hanging onto Troy—now several feet off the ground—by only the collar of his jacket! Fortunately, the man behind me—who, ironically, was a colleague’s son here at Focus—joined me in hollering and the lift was finally stopped.
Thankfully, Troy was not injured. We were able to almost immediately laugh about it. One thing is certain. We’ll always remember Saturday’s ski trip!
In reflecting on the weekend, I was thinking about the incident and how there’s a parallel to parenting. Much like a ski lift, life doesn’t stop moving. You need to hop on—and hold on. There are bound to be bumps along the way and, as parents, there are times when we’re called to “hang onto” our kids and save them from danger.
Once they’re settled and strapped into their seats and on their way up the lift, the ride can, at times, be peaceful and even serene. But there are no guarantees.
However, even the best ride comes to an end. The top of the mountain is coming and we need to prepare and brace our children for the moment they’re required to slide off the lift and head back down the mountain.
For now, you might want to watch out for the Daly’s the next time you strap on your skis or snowboard. See you on the slopes!