Progress. It's troublesome.

This whole skiing thing is pretty crazy.

I am not a skier at all, unlike the rest of
my family, which are more like ski racers.

That level of expertise is a bit intimidating
to a non-skier like me who basically just wants
to become proficient enough to ski with my
4 year old daughter, not start racing anytime soon,
or ever, truthfully.
When we started this I was perfectly happy
staying on the bunny slope where there are
no scary chairlifts.  Thankfully I have gotten
past that stage, my daughter was ready to move
on way before me.  She had mastered going
down that hill with no harness, on her own,
the very first day.

I'm perfectly happy with her staying on that
harness forever but can tell that my mom is
WAY over it.  Turns out it's a lot of work
snowplowing behind a child for hours on end.

Mom was ready to let her off the leash, I was
worried.  Mom kept saying this while we were
on Mount Hood Express, which has all sorts
of steep parts that are well past Ava's level
and I was completely terrified. 
Thankfully she wanted to take her back to
Buttercup, which is a lot more like the hill
I think she is ready to handle but I still worried,
what mother wouldn't?  

Also, as I have mentioned, I come from a 
long line of worriers.

Ava was worried too.  She said she wanted to
wear the harness again when we headed over to
the lift but once we got to the top she decided
she was cool not wearing it.  Me?  Still worried.

Grandpa John skied down the hill nice and slowly,
weaving back and forth, and Ava followed him,
all on her own, PERFECTLY.

It was amazing, so impressive.  She turned perfectly
and could even stop pretty quickly.  We did this 3
times with great success, the only time she fell was
at the very bottom and that seemed more like an
intentional choice then a mistake. 

I was feeling pretty comfortable with how this was
going.  Super proud of my girl.
Then something happened that totally freaked me out.

Somehow, as a group, Mom, John and Ava made the
decision to go get on Vista Express, a lift I have never
even been on myself.  I hate the unknown.  I hate being
thrown curve balls and I hate that I had no idea if we
were pushing her too far, too fast.

I bit my tongue because I don't want to hold Ava back
and I totally trust my Mom to do what is best for Ava
but at this point I was well beyond the state of worry.

I was so mad.  As that chairlift took us up and up and up
all I could think was WTF are we doing??  This doesn't
seem like a good idea at all. 

When we got off the lift it felt like we were at
the top of the mountain.  The. Top. 


Ava did her best to follow John down and sadly it wasn't
long before she fell and was crying and didn't seem
thrilled to go on.  But what else can you do?  
There was a long way to go.

Many parts were way too steep for her and Mom & John
took turns skiing her down between their legs.  I was
really glad that they did that.  It was the fact that we didn't
even have her harness with us up there that was part of the
reason I was freaking out.  I was thinking she would have
to just figure out a way down the steep parts and I was
really SUPER worried about that.

I think I prayed more for Ava that day then I have her whole
life (and I pray for her each night).

That fall shook her up and she wasn't feeling it like she had
been at the lower hill, but she still enjoyed the way Mom &
John helped her down.

Overall she did great!  She was amazing.  I think we have a
lot of work ahead to get her to be able to do the steeper 
hills on her own but it was a good start.  

It is so scary letting your little baby that can't even ride
a bike without training wheels speed down a hill filled
with trees and obstacles when you yourself are totally
scared doing it.

I do my very best not to let my feelings about the whole
thing affect Ava's attitude.  I don't want her to sense
my worry or fear.  I want her to take her wonderful 
confidence and run with it, or in this case ski.  

I can't think of one thing that has made her as 
proud of herself as this has and that is pretty 
fantastic to see.  

It is so cool that Mom & John are determined to 
turn Ava into a skier, she clearly has a knack for 
it and they are bringing her to realize that.  What 
a blessing to have such family support, and at such 
a young age I'm sure Ava will be a racing before we 
know it.
 If she does start racing,
you can find me in the bar, taking deep cleansing 
breaths & drowning my worry with Mogul Mashers... 


Nain said…
I would be worrying, too! You have a fellow worrier here :-) And honestly I have tried skiing once. Didn't get past the bunny hill. Skiing kind of freaks me out :-) So Ava is SO much braver than I am!
guzzi guy said…
This sounds a bit like the "sink or swim" method of training kids to swim. Having said that, I am totally impressed by her skill (as much as I can see in pictures) and her attitude!
Sarah said…
Now that you mention it, she could use a little more of that "sink or swim" method in her actual swimming lessons :)