Friday, February 5, 2021

Daniel Tiger and the Ski Slope in the Front Yard

 As I was finishing up the second run I thought "this might not be such a great idea after all." My back was suggesting, quite strongly, that I call it a day.

So I picked up my shovel, trudged up the hill from where this journey began, and headed inside. My moment on these slopes having come to a rather abrupt and inglorious conclusion.

I fell in love with this sport when my children were little. My young son, able to turn in but one direction,dutifully carried by me fully across the hill  to press the repeat button when he ran out of terrain to make his signature move to the left. My daughter at three fearlessly conquering the best the mountain could offer.

Thus, I may have projected a wee bit onto the tiny shoulders of my first grandchild. Maybe even a teensy bit more than that.

More than a decade ago I had relatively minor back surgery. Years of studiously doing nothing to improve my situation left me in a permanently vulnerable position. Thus my decision yesterday was, in this context, let me put this diplomatically, compellingly idiotic.

This week's snowstorm blanketed the region with skier fervor. It created a white out in my mind as I imagined the possibilities. My granddaughter's front yard the obvious answer to my prayers.

And so there I was, with shovel in hand, manufacturing slopes for a two year old whose thoughts were consumed not with Mikaela Shiffrin but Daniel Tiger. More interested in having another snack than peering out the window to see what Papa was doing for her. Waiting not to impress anyone with her athletic feats but wondering if she could go to school in her pajamas again tomorrow.

The pitch of the yard would allow, so I imagined, for green, blue and black trails. Maybe a snaking run with left hand turns (an homage to my son) and a steep straight slope (to prepare her for the speed events, the downhill and Super G). So what if each run was only 50 feet or so from stem to stern. My back was ever grateful it was not more.

I envisioned the third trail, the green one, coming from a different angle, from the straightaway portion of the driveway before it moved up the incline and turned. As I entered the house, where my wife sat cuddled with this perfect little being mesmerized by the very human exploits of a family of cartoon tigers, I explained my plans for future cutting of this trail.

My granddaughter barely noticed my presence. I thought about asking the Olympic champion of tomorrow if she wanted to turn off the TV to begin her training. Then I reconsidered. Today was all about Daniel Tiger.



Anonymous said...

Beautifully written as usual.


Anonymous said...

Just go right back out there and try out the blue, black and green yourself. If you do it with a tiger costume on and have someone video you, C can watch and learn to ski cuddled on the couch in her pjs!


Anonymous said...

Very sweet!!