Families that play together, stay together
-- by www.taddgroup.com
Sharing common experiences is one way of helping to keep families close.
With our busy lives pulling us in so many directions and our children growing
up so quickly, finding new ways to connect to our partners and our children
is extremely important. This not only helps to build strong bonds, but
lasting memories as well.
One way of doing this is through play. Establishing a family game night can
be a fun way of bring everyone together. Taking a class such as beginning
pottery or painting, learning a musical instrument or sport. Anything which
is fun and brings the family together is great. Recently my family put this
theory to the test.
Inspired by divine intervention, a random thought, or a complete lapse in
sanity (I'm not sure which), I decided our family would take to the slopes
and learn to snowboard. My wife and I have skied all our lives and surmised
snowboarding just couldn't be that much different. I figured with a few
quick trips down the mountain, my wife and I would be snowboarding experts
and ready to help our children learn this new sport. As my aching backside
can attest, things didn't go quite as I had planned.
Fresh from the sporting goods store, we jumped in the car and headed for the
ski hill. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, there was fresh snow
awaiting us on the mountain, and our spirits were high. As we made our way
to the resort, I regaled our children with stories of my skiing prowess. By
the time we reached the mountain, our collective confidence was high and we
were ready for this new challenge of snowboarding... after all, how hard
could it be?
As we unloaded our gear from the trunk, we watched as people made their way
down the steep slopes seemingly without effort. It was inspiring. That will
be me, I thought to myself. My first dose of reality came at the ticket
"I'd like four lift tickets please," I said with confidence.
The young man behind the counter eyed the price tag still dangling from
my gleaming new snowboard. "First time up," he asked?
I nodded as I fumbled for my wallet.
"Might I suggest going with rope-tow passes for the bunny hill instead of
chair lift tickets?" he said with a tone of concern in his voice. "You can
always trade them in later in the day if you feel you are ready for the more
Clearly he has no idea who he's talking to, I thought. The bunny hill is
an insult to my skiing ability, not to mention my dignity as a man. But,
thinking of the children I decided the bunny hill might not be such a bad
idea. After all, we'd easily conquer it by lunch and could then trade our
passes in for chair lift tickets. "Okay", I said begrudgingly.
We made our way to the bunny hill. It was packed with beginners, young and
old alike. You could hear loud thuds as people lost their balance and fell
hard in the snow. Loose skis and various articles of clothing - gloves,
hats, scarfs, littered the slope, lost by those unfortunate souls who
couldn't manage to stay upright. I laughed to myself as I locked my foot
into my binding and headed for the rope-tow. I'll show them how it's done.
"Watch Dad," I said to my wife and children as they watched me take hold
of the rope.
If any of you have ever wondered if it is unpleasant to be trust head-first
into an ice covered mountain using your face as
a snow plow, let me assure you, it is. Okay, so perhaps I underestimated the
difficulty of making the transition from skis to snowboard. But then again
everyone falls once in a while, I thought as I removed snow and ice from
inside my coat and snow-pants. Looking down the hill I saw my wife and
children watching me, mouths wide open. My wife was shaking her head as to
say, "Don't be an idiot. Walk down the hill and save us a major medical
Undaunted, I jumped to my feet and pointed the front of my board straight
down the hill. People told me later I resembled a large snowball thundering
down the hill. The only thing I recall with any certainty is the loud
thud my body made when it hit the hard snow, and my children asking me if I
was alright when I finally came to a rest at the bottom of the
The rest of that first day of snowboarding for me entailed watching my wife
and children as they mastered the sport while I sipped hot chocolate
and nursed my pride. One thing's for sure, I never did exchange our rope-tow
passes for chair lift tickets.
Though I found out I'm not going to be the next snowboarding champion, our
family did have a great time and since then have returned to the ski hill
many times. And despite my aches and pains, bumps and bruises, snowboarding
has indeed brought our family closer together. The old saying, "Families
that play together, stay together," is true enough, but I'm thinking a few
words of qualification should be tacked on to the end of that saying.
"Families that play together, stay together - assuming they survive."
About The Author:
Passing Thoughts is a syndicated column published on quality web sites, in
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