Updated: Sep 28, 2020
By the time you recognize parenting errors you are usually too old to do much about them. The children have grown up and, with any luck, they have survived all but the most dreadful ones.
One of mine (yes there was more than one) related to skiing or, better said, not skiing. I had no idea how to introduce family skiing at the appropriate age because I had never seen it done. Besides, it seemed expensive.
I learned to ski at a Swiss boarding school beginning at age 11. My parents were off the introducing and teaching hook though my mother had the good sense to live in Kitzbuhel for a time and vacations there added to a solid start of daily afternoon skiing at school.
There were dozens of reasons not to replicate that experience for our two boys (now in their early 40s) and girl (now in her late 30s) not the least of which was the unpleasantness of protracted bankruptcy proceedings. But I never really figured out the family experience teach the kids to ski thing. Fortunately they learned from their friends and we did do a few trips together as a family. Guilt reduced but not eliminated.
Skiing offers the rare opportunity of the parenting error do-over: grandchildren. Older backs and knees might not want to take on the first week of teaching a five-year old but there is a considerable amount of time during which the 70-something will have pals with whom to ski the blues while the middle generation zooms around in the trees.
I am not sure when my ski the blues pals will also disappear into the trees but I do know that is coming. At that point I will have to depend on hearing them say, “look at my grandfather, he is 70-whatever and still out here with us."
If you too made the parenting error, give the do-over a try. It has been terrific and my children seem to have forgiven me.
Haven Pell | Pundificator
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