Yesterday our family spent the afternoon at the Canmore Nordic Center doing some cross country ski practice with Alison.
My wife Misty is going to be a group leader / coach for the Jackrabbits program and Alison is in her class. Athletes don’t always make the best coaches (which I can attest to) but Misty has a good grasp of pedagogy and that, combined with being a great mother and a gentle touch, has made the learning curve less steep for Alison. Alison is a thrill-seeker but she has been a bit timid on the snow and the toboggan hill.
On of the tricks Misty is using is having “Stuffies” on the skis and having the kids slide on the skis like snakes.
Later that day we split up and Alison and I went do some sledding down by the Biathlon range. Now most kids in Canmore are naturals on the snow and have mad skills but up until this point most of our sledding had been a two person affair with Alison hanging on pretty tight. Today a switch went off and as a Parent I felt blessed to see it happen. Alison was on the edge when we were skiing but a good hour with Mom directing and Dad participating in the coaching lesson that Misty was testing on us improved Alison’s confidence. As Alison and I were walking down with sled in tow Alison turned to me and said “Daddy, I’m going to go one time by myself.” Ok? I said. Not wanting to push Alison after a few times down the hill she said “I want to go by myself this time.” And she did, again, and again and again. After six times I was asking if I could go too as we only had one sled. Our last sled of the day was together with Alison saying “Giddy up, giddy up!”
Alison proudly wearing her “Fast and Female” buffs.
The following morning Alison came in to our room as she does every morning and she jumped up on our bed and said “Dad, yesterday I wanted to make you proud and show you that I could go all by myself.” I can not full express how that made me feel other than to say that if you know what the concept of “filling your bucket is” well Alison filled my bucket. As a parent I was given one of those rewards that you could never buy and you will never forget. On reflection I saw the magic of growing, becoming strong and finding form.