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Archive for June, 2010

‘I ski’

During our wonderful Father’s Day weekend, we were all enjoying the sun and the water at my parents’ cabin by skiing and wakeboarding.  Everyone went, even Owen and Alec, Aiden’s 8- and 6-year old brothers.  They have  a pair of skis that are attached to each other (to keep them together in the front and not-too-far apart in the back) as well as a rope that someone in the boat holds onto in case they get into trouble.  Overall, a very safe way for kids to learn how to water ski.  And with me basically running with them in the water until they’re up, it’s pretty darn easy.  My older two have needed a lot of convincing and I don’t blame them.  It’s scary at first until you’re used to it.  That boat seems pretty huge and fast when you’re all of 40 pounds soaking wet.

After everyone had a turn skiing, Smooch looked right at me and said ‘I ski’

‘You want to ski?’ I asked.

‘Yesh’ was Aiden’s confident, assertive response.

I repeated ‘You want to ski?’.

‘Yesh’.  No doubt.  No hesitating.

In the balance of a very short period of time, I made the decision that yes, indeed, he was going to try skiing.  He’d been having a great day – totally with it and enjoying the lake.  The boy had seen his brothers, mom, dad, aunt, grandpa and grandma all ski and damn it, he was going to ski, too.

I told Nic Aiden was going to try skiing and got a very half-hearted objection.  I knew right then she was going to go for it.  Worst case scenario was that he goes 10 feet and falls down, right?

I set Smooch up on the dock and fitted the skis on him.  Big grin.  As I was pushing the boat out one of his skis slipped off as he sat there on the dock and he said ‘Daddy’ and pointed down to his left foot.  I slid the ski back on and tightened it up.  Big grin again.  ‘Daddy, ope!’ (rope) – this time pointing to the handle.  I handed him the ski rope handle and got an even bigger grin.

We lined up for the first attempt.  I was holding him up by his life jacket while the line got tighter.  Aiden yelled his version of ‘hit it’ about 5 times.  In between chuckles I managed to tell him that *I* was going to tell the boat when to go.  I gave him a quick kiss on the top of his head and said ‘OK, buddy – here we go’.  The boat slowly took off and Aiden went about 5 feet before tipping over to his left side.  His face went all the way under and he came up sputtering.  I grabbed him out of the water and asked him if he wanted to try again – and got an unequivocal ‘yesh!’.

I set him up on the dock and got him all squared away again.  The result was about the same .  I didn’t ask if he wanted to go again and he didn’t ask to go again.  We both had reached the conclusion that two good tries was enough.  It was one of those times when trying and failing was a huge accomplishment.  I was so proud of him for being so determined and not even thinking this was something he shouldn’t try.  And for not bailing on something after one attempt.  I hope he hangs onto that.  I hope we as his parents let him hang onto that.

We’ll see if Aiden ever wants to try again.  I think he will.  If I know my youngest like I think I do, I’ll hear ‘I ski’ at least a few more times this summer.

And next time, we’ll bring his leg braces to help him out 🙂

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