It has been close to 10 years since my last time downhill skiing, although I remember the experience well. I was in college and with a group of friends for a short weekend ski trip. For me, I felt like I was getting more advanced in my skiing abilities and was ready to try the black diamond. For those that don’t know, the black diamond is one of the most difficult areas to ski on. I thought I could control myself and I decided to go all the way up to the top of the mountain. When I got off the lift, the sign had a double black diamond on it. I thought that if one black diamond is an adventure, then I suppose a double is just that much more.
I went to the edge and took off. The actual slope of the mountain, I soon found out, wasn’t fully appreciated from the top. I was gaining speed rapidly and there was a coating of ice on the slope, making control complicated. There comes a point, at least for me, when I realize I am going too fast and I look for a way to stop. In this case, I tried to gracefully fall. Instead, I rolled over and over and over again, coming to a stop flat on my back. It was a hard fall, but I managed to stand up and walk down. At that moment someone came down the hill and asked if I was ok. My response, “I almost stuck the landing.”
Fast forward to the just the other night. I was standing in my living room with my baby girl in my arms when all of a sudden my 2 year old son fell down the stairs. Now, when I say he fell down the stairs, you likely have in your mind a certain way that normally happens. This was not the normal way. I have seen my kids fall down the stairs before, but generally it involved them being on their backs on the way down. This time it was like he was downhill skiing and he had just lost control and rolled. He came down so fast that I thought maybe he had intentionally taken a running start and rolled down the stairs. Believe me, I would not have been surprised if that had happened.
As a father, that was the worst place I could be. I was standing just a few feet away and watched helplessly as he fell, hitting his head three different times on the way down. All I could think of was head injury or broken bones. But, remarekabley, after just a few minutes of blue in the face crying, he got up and was fine. There was no sign of injury. He also had almost stuck the landing!
People often tell me that it just gets more exciting with boys in the house. I suppose that is true. As parents, we might feel like we are sometimes in the midst of far more than we ever thought parenting would be like. Maybe a bit like rolling downhill uncontrollably? But, it doesn’t matter if you fall down, or stick the landing. It does make all the difference in the world, though, if you get back up.