Family Powder Day

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I had the greatest day of my life yesterday. School was out because of the snow and there were several inches of fresh powder on the little ski resort just outside of town. So I spent the day shredding pow with my twin six-year-old kids.

I’ve been working toward this moment for the last three years. I started taking the kids to ski when they were still two. We bought them these little plastic skis with soft bindings and we’d take them to the hill and push them down, build snowmen, drink hot chocolate, and feed them M&Ms every time we rode the magic carpet. The idea was to associate skiing with good times. We kept this practice up for the next three years, eventually trading their plastic skis for real skis and boots. I’d run up and down the baby slope helping each of them if they fell, plying them with M&Ms and hot chocolate, throwing snowballs…we’d watch Warren Miller ski porn on the minivan DVD player to and from the slopes and I’d make little ski movies of them mostly eating shit face-first into the snow. But I never got to ski with them because I was too busy trying to make sure they stayed safe and had fun.

And it worked. The kids got better every time we’d hit the hill and, more importantly, their love for skiing grew. The M&M bribery lessened, their turns got better, and finally, they outgrew the baby slope. It wasn’t gnarly enough for them.

So yesterday, we spent the entire day skiing fresh powder together for the first time ever. The kids rode the lift like champs, put their skis on themselves, and shredded the fresh pow like those pros in the Warren Miller flicks. We spent hours running laps, the kids combing the edges of the slopes looking for fresh powder and little jumps. Occasionally, they ate it, but always got up smiling, and when the lifts shut down I had to drag them off the mountain, promising that we’d come back on the next snow day.

It was the culmination of three years of hard work. My kids are finally skiers. Legit skiers. The whole drive home, I imagined the years of epic ski trips in front of us. Weekends at Snowshoe, holidays in Vail. When they’re older, backcountry hut-to-hut missions…the future is bright.

It’s the kind of day where you pop a bottle of champagne while you make tacos for your tired and hungry kids. But champagne gives me a headache, so I popped a Pisgah Brewing Graybeard IPA, which is my current hoppy obsession. Beer never tasted sweeter.

I’ve had glorious powder days before—with deeper snow and bigger mountains—but I’ve never enjoyed them this much.

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