Enjoy skiing again with your grandkids
Back in 2009, I wrote a story for Travelers United (then named www.ticked.com) entitled “Skiing with grandkids.” What I wrote then is still true now.
Skiing (and snowboarding to some extent) are going intergenerational. In a world where parents have neither the time nor money to take their kids skiing, grandparents are clicking into their skis and taking their grandkids to the slopes. Grandparents with both time and money, for the most part, can have a wonderful experience of teaching, eating, talking and playing with their grandkids and vice versa.
At the time, my grandson Phinneus was just five and I had been taking him skiing since he was three-and-a-half years old. I still could keep up with him then, skiing behind him to make sure that no one ran into him. He was somewhat a cautious skier for a young boy, but I was already looking ahead to the future when he might go faster than me.
Because skiing is a sport that family members can enjoy together no matter what their ages, I’m counting on Phinneus being there to ski with me when I turn 70 (and 80, too, if he’ll go slowly enough).
Well, I got my wish this week when my now 18-year-old grandson consented to ski with his now 75-year-old grandmother. “Ski with” might be a bit of an exaggeration, though. I did see him briefly as he took off and rounded the first corner from the top of Cranmore in North Conway, New Hampshire, but then didn’t catch sight of him again until I saw him waiting for me near the chairlift at the bottom.
This part did ring true, however, except for the teaching part.
Grandparents with both time and money, for the most part, can have a wonderful experience of teaching, eating, talking, and playing with their grandkids and vice versa.
It was especially fun to catch up with his life as a college freshman at the University of Wyoming as we rode up the chairlifts since he was a captive audience. And it was like the old days, except I was giving my crying knees a rest when we took a break and had some laughs over lunch.
Plus, it was certainly gratifying to see him enjoying what I so wanted him to enjoy when I took him skiing so many years before. I hadn’t skied in a year and he had taken a three-year hiatus from the sport so both of us were a little nervous about how we would do. Luckily, skiing is much like riding a bike and we both got our form back right away (except for my aging knees, of course). Phinneus is now planning to ski with new college friends out West and I know he’ll do fine in the powder and on the steeps, thanks to his early skiing education.
Must say, that COVID has certainly made for some changes at the ski areas. Booting up at the car was more like the old days.
The world has certainly changed since I took my three children to learn to ski back in the 1970s... Decades ago, both my kids and I started with leather boots — they had buckles instead of laces and the skis were taller than us. Oh, the process of getting us all ready to ski was painful to say the least.
While I don’t think that any 75-year-old should be made to boot up at their car, I did manage and also learned a lot from the couple in the car next to me. They laid a little rug over the snow, set up their folding chairs, and comfortably put on their boots before heading out. Next time for sure!
So, my advice to fellow grandparents back then is still my advice now:
Grandparents out there — if you’ve ever skied, do your children a favor and consider making the effort to pass a love of this active, outdoor, lifetime sport on to their children, your grandchildren. Everyone, especially your grandchildren, will be glad you did. Going skiing with grandchildren is definitely tiring — I went to sleep each night when my grandson did – but it could help you experience being a kid again and provide memories that will certainly last a lifetime.
And now I’m looking forward to having my grandson go skiing with me when I’m 80. Yikes!
After several decades working in a variety of jobs as a newspaper writer, event publicist, communications specialist, and marketing director, Karen Cummings is now “retired” and working on Travelers United’s social media and newsletters in addition to occasionally contributing a travel-related article to TU’s blog. She lives close to her family in Fryeburg, Maine, and travels as often as she can.