Adventures Of Fatherhood

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We took the kids on their first ski vacation last week, and I’m happy to report there were no injuries.

Thanks to forecasted blizzard conditions along our five-hour route to Deep Creek Lake from here, we made our trip a nine-day excursion rather than seven, and I’m so glad we did.

About 20 minutes after we arrived at our home away from home last Friday, it started snowing and it didn’t stop for 40 hours. In the end, more than three feet of snow fell, laying the foundation for a great ski vacation.

Neither of the kids had ever skied before so we were cautiously optimistic about their abilities to pick it up in short order. Fortunately, Wisp Resort has a great ski school and the boys loved being there. That allowed their parents time to ski without having to worry about teaching them or taking turns being with them while the other skied.

For the record, Pam is a graceful skier while I’m a wreck on the mountain, but it was still fun for this proverbial fish out of water since I’m a beach guy.

Both kids ended up being better skiers than me by week’s end with Beckett getting so comfortable that by the last day he was skiing backwards and pulling off parallel stops, or what he called “hockey stops.” When I tried one of those, it wasn’t pretty.

Carson, for his part, did a great job as well, improving drastically over the week, although I do think sledding remains his preferred way to go down a hill. By our last day, he had graduated from the ski school hill to the bunny hills with the magic carpets.

Some other highlights included:

•Being relegated by the weather to inside for two days with my children, who each possess a high energy level whenever their eyes are open, normally would be my idea of a nightmare.

Although there were some temporary moments of insanity, that was not the case while away on vacation in our friends’ mountain home.

The fact it was a blizzard outside for two straight days sort of took all the options off the table anyway and the boys embraced an all-day snack session, movies, video games, puzzles, board games and cards.

At one point, Carson was getting particularly antsy, so I carried him outside into the wind and snow, and he quickly realized how much nicer it was inside and started crying as the snow hit him in the face.

There were no more requests on that day to go play in the snow from that point on.

•There is something to be said for going in a hot tub and your hair literally freezing from the cold air.

That was a first for my kids who got a huge kick out of it along with the fact we were sitting in a hot tub as snow fell on us.

It was great fun, so much so on the few days it wasn’t bitter cold and their hair did not freeze in the hot tub they both resorted to whining.

•Hide and seek was a popular game during our snowbound time. It usually goes Beckett against Carson and me.

Carson hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the game because wherever he hides he makes noises so we can find him easily. Therefore, we hide together and make Beckett work for it.

During one of what seemed like hundreds of rounds, Carson and I hid in a shower. He was doing a good job listening to me and keeping quiet. I was so focused on making sure he didn’t make any loud sounds to give away our location that I didn’t realize what he was doing with his hands. I should have known better.

I soon found out what he was up to when he turned the shower faucet on. The cold water made both of us shriek, giving away to Beckett where we were and drenching us in the process.

In this case, I didn’t heed the advice we always give to people with Carson — expect the unexpected.

•A day after the big storm, we went outside the house to do some sledding down the front hill. We quickly realized that would not be an easy task, as three feet of powder doesn’t equate to great sledding without a lot of work.

Instead, what happened was we simply dropped in the snow and went nowhere. While we did our best to make tracks up and down the hill, a lost boot and glove quickly ruined it for me.

Then there was Pam who was stuck at the bottom of the hill with Carson, who was crying because it was too difficult to walk back up the hill in more than three feet of snow. It was understandable. Meanwhile, while I was rushing down the hill to carry him back up, Beckett threw a fit about not being to get his feet in the snowboard he was trying to use. When I showed him he would simply sink to his waist in the fresh snow, he too threw a fit.

Fortunately, the entire vacation did not consist of that sort of nonsense.