“Mommy, I just want to stay home and play today,” Lily said sweetly. She stared up at me from her breakfast with her big brown eyes.
“Sorry, hon, in this family when it snows we go skiing,” I said. The fact that these were the exact words my mom probably said to me when I little was not lost on me. “You’ll thank me one day,” I added, since I was already going down that path.
“Arrgh!” Lily made a face and continued eating her toast.
After lots of cajoling, and repeated requests to put ski stuff on, I finally, finally, finally had her in the car.
“I. do. not. want. to. go.” she stated firmly.
“You always say that, and you always have so much fun once we’re there,” I reminded her.
She couldn’t deny it. She truly loves skiing — when she’s at the mountain. Getting there, not so much.
“Fine,” she muttered and was silent for a while.
I drove in silence for a little while, and thought about how my parents also forced us kids to ski. My brother and I whined and complained on snow days. All we wanted to do was stay home and watch cartoons.
When we were little, local ski passes for kids and families were a lot more affordable than they are now. My brother and I always had hand-me-down and ski swap equipment. Old beat up stuff, but it didn’t matter–that’s what every kid skied on back then. We learned to ski at tiny local hills, with rope-tows that would rip your mittens apart. We always packed a lunch instead of buying food at the mountain. Skiing didn’t seem like something fancy, it was just something we did as a family — and where I grew up there were a lot families doing the same, and saying the same things to their kids.
“I paid for those ski passes and we’re going to get our money’s worth!” my mom would say.
“You’ll thank me one day!” she’d say.
“You always have fun once you’re up there!”
“You don’t know how lucky you are! Do you know how many kids would kill to go skiing today?”
Turns out, there are still a lot of families also saying the same things to their kids as well.