Parenting Stories: A Love Letter to My Husband
By Stephanie Olson
I was wrong.
Not a normal start for a love letter but I suspect those of you who are married might be nodding right now. There may be no more romantic sentence for a married person to say to his/her spouse. So, there it is. I was wrong and you were right. Soak that in, honey. Bask in the glow of those three words while I explain.
My husband loves to ski. If he could, he would ski all day each weekend. I suspect that, if it were possible, he would ski all day everyday but I digress. He loves to push himself. He loves the rush, the challenge and the spirit of being out all day and then coming home to a fire and a beer at the end of it. Now it is a family endeavor. My seven-year-old is in his fourth year of ski lessons and loves it. Our three-year-old is a pro on the magic carpet already this season and he’s just beginning to learn how to turn and stop. I know that my husband wants his love of the sport to grow on the boys so that they can share it for a long time to come.
Unfortunately, it is not a love of mine. I find the snow, cold and speed all somewhat scary. My fear only increases as the height of the hill increases. My understanding is that people who enjoy skiing feel the opposite way. Interesting. In any case, I have spent the last four years worrying that my son will get hurt on one of those hills. He was on the chairlift at three years old and it terrified me. He’s seven now and I still won’t even let the kid use sharp scissors! I never understood the need to push him onto higher hills and faster slopes because I think it’s dangerous. I didn’t like that our great family endeavor involved signing waivers, heights, rocks, ice and employees whose only job is to go around and drag people down the hills on sleds because they’ve hurt themselves. None of this feels very safe to me.
And now, I need to admit that I was wrong. Emmett did hurt himself up in the mountains over the holiday break but there was nary a ski run in sight. He was doing what I love to do with him. He was just playing Harry Potter in the living room. He was running with a magic wand and he tripped and it poked him in his eye. He broke a bone and it will heal on its own but it was an awful scare. So…in the end it was my game that hurt him. My game that has no waivers saying I won’t sue someone if there is an injury, no speed, no helmets, no patrols and no ice.
So, I will let go a bit. I was wrong and, to be honest, I hope I continue to be wrong. I hope I am wrong on this for many, many years to come. I hope that you all continue to have fun sharing your cold, fast and scary sport together. I hope that my three guys enjoy many safe and happy years of my being wrong together.
Stephanie Olson is a mom of two boys who lives and writes in Seattle, dreams of Paris and believes that there’s nothing in life that a little tater tot hot dish couldn’t fix.