I woke up this morning in a pretty rotten mood, but we had decided yesterday that today we were going skiing/boarding as a family.  We got up early, and when Tracy went out to start the Suburban, the battery was dead.  Not a great start to a day where I was already in a bad mood.  We decided to try and take my car which meant Tracy would have to snowboard instead of ski (his skis don’t fit in my car and we don’t have a ski/board carrier on top).  Tracy’s board was still too long.  We weren’t sure how this was going to work.  Nate (my 17 year old son) let out a loud “I’m very unhappy” sigh, and I lost it and snapped at him.  Eventually, we figured out a way to get all the boards in the car.   Being resourceful and thinking creatively is a very valuable tool :).

Still in a foul mood, I start driving the whole family up the mountain.  I should tell you that one of the biggest reasons we “fought” so hard to go today (instead of just saying “let’s stay home and fix the burb”) was that a local Snowboard Shop was doing demo day (which meant we could ride amazing snowboards for free.  We didn’t want to miss this.)  So Up the mountain I drove.

Now it’s not very often, that we find ourselves so engrossed in a conversation with our children that we don’t even turn on a radio in the car.  But today, I didn’t turn on the radio.  What happened was amazing.  Nate started asking questions about  US History.  We had an incredible conversation about racism, economics, past presidents, discrimination as a whole, and were able to share our own personal stories of desegregation in Texas.  This allowed me to share some of the stories I read in SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME.  We also got to talk about colleges and school.  It was a great conversation all the way up the mountain.  By the time we got up there, my mood had completely turned around!  It was promising to be an amazing day with the family!

Once we made it up to the mountain, we went straight to The Board Room’s tent.  We waited a while, and were able to find enough boards for Tracy, Nate and myself to Demo.  I was blessed with this amazing $536 board.  (Let me tell you, the board I ride now is 5 years old and cost MAYBE $99 when I bought it; that should help you understand the difference in boards we got to Demo today.)  When they were transferring my bindings from my own board to the demo board, they told us that my stance/binding set up was all messed up; so they put the bindings on the demo board in the correct position.  The last time Tracy tried to put my bindings in the correct position, (I had no idea he did this at the time, until I was already on the hill to ride down) I was already in a bad mood and I ended up falling all over the place and yelling and screaming at my husband (who was just trying to help).  Can you see where this is going?????

Now that we had our demo boards, we decided to go straight for the big hill instead of starting at the bunny hill.  This might have been a mistake.  Oh well.  All for of us made it off the chair lift without incident and I went to strap in.  The minute I stood up on my board, I knew there was trouble. The stance was at least 1 1/2″ wider than my regular set up; I felt like I was doing the splits.  Immediately I fell.  I felt like I had no control over my board, and I wasn’t certain how I was going to make it down the mountain.  I looked at Tracy, and I must have had “that look” on my face.  His reply was, “Just don’t get upset and start yelling and crying.”

He was right.  I KNEW they changed my stance; I AGREED to change my stance.  *I* created this.  It’s time to let go and make the best of this.  I made it to the hill we were going to ride down (Showcase..which is my favorite run).  All I could do was fall.  I was scared, really , really scared.  Nate, who was a couple yards down the run already (and who is a snowboard instructor for the special needs kids), asked me if I wanted him to teach me a few things to help.  I sat there for a moment.  I didn’t want his help.  I know how to snow board.  Why is this so difficult?  Again, he asked me.  “Mom, I can help you, if you want me to.”

Again, I told myself, “Martha, its time to let go and allow yourself to be teachable.  Let your son hold your hand and teach you.  How many time have you held his  hand and taught him?  Trust him.”  So I agreed.  I sent Tracy down the mountain with Naomi and Nate began to teach me.  What I found out?  He is an amazing teacher!  He is patient.  He is supportive.  He is encouraging, and he let me learn at my own speed.  I know I felt frustrated at times and got confused. I felt myself beating myself up and wanting to just be able to take the run like I used to.  But when I went to ride like I used to, I would fall down.  But when I did what Nate taught me, I rode smoothly (and according to the rest of my family, my stance looked GREAT!)

What did I learn today when I let myself experience life?  I learned that control is an illusion.  I learned that its okay to be a bit off balance and fall from time to time; if I fall, it won’t kill me.  I was able to put in practical terms what I read in WHY IS GOD LAUGHING.  Fear is an illusion that gives us a false sense of protection.  I tried something new and made myself uncomfortable, and even though I fell, I didn’t get hurt or die.  I learned to trust someone else…my 17 year old son…and let him teach me.  What a gift to  myself…AND to him!

In the end, it was an amazing day with the family on the mountain..and no more foul mood!  I’m grateful for my amazing family who supported me today when I was scared wittless…thank you, Tracy, Nate and Naomi for being so amazing and encouraging me today!

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