As we live only an hour from the ski slopes, our children learn to ski early. Skiing is one of the highlights of winter here, a reward for having to endure some of the coldest weather Australia has to offer. John, who is a high level skier himself, teaches all of our children when they are around the age of three. Learning to ski with Dad has become a rite of passage, with the twins beginning on skis this year amidst much excitement. In keeping with the tradition of having some one-on-one time with Dad (and because it is very hard to teach both twins at once), the twins have each had some sessions by themselves.
This year, after much consideration, our eldest began Sunday ski squad. None of the children have ever been in formal ‘ski school’, or had a lesson with anyone other than Dad. And they love that. Skiing for them means time with Dad. Often time alone with Dad, which is rare and precious. Yet with both the twins on skis and Dash needing to go higher up the mountain, we conceded that even between both of us we could not cater to so many different ability levels by ourselves.
And ski squad for Cassidy has proven to be fantastic – as well as refining his technique and learning all sorts of new skills (racing, jumps, moguls), it has been a big step-up for him in terms of maturity and independence. Yet at the end of six hours of training, as soon as Cassidy finishes squad, he insists on using up what is left of the day skiing with Dad, regardless of how tired he is. Skiing just simply isn’t skiing without Dad.
A great deal of our most valued family time takes place outside, where other distractions are few and the natural world – its forms and its elements – provide the setting for quality time together. Days spent learning to ski with Dad are amongst the most cherished. The next post will be a complementary post to this, written by John and including his tips on teaching kids to ski, so get your little powderhounds ready!