Sunday, March 06, 2011

77 Months

Lucas is skiing!

video

I began skiing when I was six and I vividly recall the rush of joy that I felt when I slid down the mountain. It was a beautiful and extreme moment in my life, even if it was only a bunny slope. Over the years I've learned how to ski exceptionally well and it has always been a place where my pride flourishes. Yet, as the years have passed, it isn't something that has been high on my priority list and it's gotten to where we haven't been going at all the past couple of years. Part of that is due to the high cost of a lift ticket these days. Where it was fairly affordable when I was younger, nowadays it takes a large chunk out of the budget just to go for a day.

We were pretty fortunate by the time that we had kids because both Christina and I made a determination many years earlier to get out of debt. Following our wedding we had a bloated debt limit that had been raised above the point where we felt comfortable when it came to paying all of the bills. So we made a conscious choice and a few years later we managed to reduce all of our debt down to a house payment and some utilities. It was freeing and especially more so when Lucas came along because we knew that we could manage our impulse control and focus our monetary energy into raising a child.

We gave a up a lot but learned to find new outlets that were either completely free of charge or had a much reduced impact on our wallet. That allowed us to start channeling our funds toward Lucas's needs and eventually Quinn's, as well. Violin lessons were at the top of the list and even though we don't indulge them too often, we have the means to give them some things without much concern toward how it would affect the pocketbook.

Well, one of those things has become skiing and I'm so happy that we've set our lives up in such a way that we don't have to worry about a day spent on the slopes at Big Bear. We can go out the door with a smile on our faces and a peck on the cheek just like the old idealized family shows from the fifties. Lucas and I spent two days going up and down the mountain this winter and he embraced it right away. I don't know how many times he told me that he wanted to go faster or that he wanted to hit one of the jumps or that he wanted to go up the lift that was the next degree of difficulty. He was an eager snowbird and I imagined a day where we would be cutting it up the way that I do with my father now.

Yeah, my dad was there too. He of the season pass and cabin in the wilderness. He taught me to ski and now we're teaching Lucas together. What great fortune we have in our lives that three generations can spend an afternoon filled with delight and warmth and tired legs and laughter and snowballs and the crisp clean mountain air in our lungs as we shout and smile with our hearts wide open.

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