Helicopter Grandparent: My #DeerValleyMoment

Don’t be a helicopter parent. I know. I know.

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Especially in ski lessons, parents (and grandparents) best serve their children by leaving them with their capable instructor and getting out of the way. At Deer Valley, a great place for the family to hang out is on the Snow Park Lodge balcony overlooking the Wide West run rather than hanging out on the run itself. Hovering is best reserved for aircrafts, not for a six-year-old’s ski lesson.

Seriously, I wasn’t planning on getting right in the mix of her ski lessons. It just happened … and it was the best experience of my 2015-16 ski season by far.

I was out of the way. I was skiing down Success ski run and took the top of Little Kate. When I stopped at the middle of the ski run, I thought, “Hmm… Norah is in her lesson so I’ll just ski over to the Snowflake chairlift. I wonder if she is there with her Reindeer Club?”

Just a quick peek to see how they were doing. There should be no harm in that right? Were they taking the chairlift yet? This was day two, were they still on the magic carpet? I was curious.

I figured she wouldn’t recognize me anyway. Since I dropped her off in the morning, she hadn’t seen my jacket or my helmet. I wore goggles so technically I was in disguise.

As fate would have it, I ended up right in front of her in line for the chairlift!

As I waited in line her group just happened to ski up behind me. With a group of four girls, the instructor was waiting for reinforcements. (other instructors to take the girls on the chairlift) Standing right there, I quietly offered to go up with Norah, mentioning that I was her grandmother (which was the golden ticket to ride with her).

Norah acted completely nonplussed that I was there. I actually wondered if she even recognized me. I did just introduce myself to her instructor and said out loud that I was her grandmother. Norah didn’t say a word. No smile. No acknowledgment. Nothing.

The day before she was SO worried she’d have ride the BIG LIFT. Now she was doing it and with ME! She acted like she did this every day of the year and it was no big deal.

On the chairlift, with a directive monotone, she gave me all the instructions I would need on how she was going to disembark with my help. After doing so, as her instructor followed with more girls a few chairs back, Norah smiled and waved at her (ignoring me). She agreed to a quick selfie with me before she went off to join her group once they were all there. As she skied off, she gave me a tiny little wave goodbye.

Humph. I thought. Oh well. No big deal, I guess.

Later that night, I heard her tell her parents. “I GOT TO RIDE THE LIFT WITH NONI !!!!!”

She went on and on in an excited tone all about how she didn’t recognize me and there I was right in front of her. She got to ride with me on the BIG LIFT and how she skied right off. She didn’t fall and we took a picture together.

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“Show them the picture, Noni,” she urged.

I guess it was a bigger deal to her that she let on at the time.

What I learned about my granddaughter that day was… don’t mess with her when she has her game face on. Learning to ski is serious business so we need to stay focused. We celebrate later.

Celebrate we did.

I’ll always treasure my #DeerValleyMoment with Norah on the Snowflake chairlift on her second day on the slopes and the photo to remember it.

I know I am not supposed to hover during ski lessons. Like I said, I didn’t mean to.

At the same time, I was so grateful that fate put me in the right place at the right time to make a precious memory with a little girl whom I love so much. I can’t wait to ski with her next year and create our next #DeerValleyMoment.

3 Responses

  1. Summer says:

    Ack!!! I’m crying!!! I can picture the moment when you met up on the chair lift. Those little skiers are so cute and I love seeing them whoosh down the mountain!!! Deer Valley has an amazing kids program and we were so grateful for the experience!!!
    PS Grandparents are the best!!!

  2. Deer Valley says:

    Thanks for the sweet comment Summer!

  3. […] Nancy L. Anderson, CFP is a financial planner in Park City, Utah.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter as well on  her Forbes.com  contributor site and the Official blog of Deer Valley Ski Resort. […]

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Deer Valley Resort's Global Athlete Ambassador, Ted Ligety, is back on skis after 10 weeks of recovering from microdiscectomy surgery. Welcome back Ted! | #DeerValleyMoment ... See MoreSee Less

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Larry WeiderThat's what I look like in my head when I ski. It's better I never know what I actually look like.

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Dennis BressGreat run and great camera work. :-) Kerry Rutherford

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Dan LudwigDude is flyin...

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Mehrnaz ZuieYousef Zuie this is where I want to go!

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Shanna RidnerLikes this picture

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Jon Blumbergbautiful skier

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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Deer Valley Resort has recieved over 400 inches of snow this season and still has a 101" base. You can only #SkiTheDifference for three more weeks. | Skier: Jillian Vogtli Video: Chris Morgan / Two Sherpas LLC on Sunday, March 26, 2017.
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Rose JutrasGo Jillian!! What an Ambassador!!

13 hours ago   ·  1

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Dennis WillisYep, only $1.28 per inch for that base. Or $15.52 per hour if you ski from opening to closing.

7 hours ago
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Adi DeOltManon Mbd she has the same color equipment like me. And I skied there. Could it be me? 😂😂😂

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Claine CowdrickWhy end the season if there is still enough snow to ski on? Extend the season maximize profits

8 hours ago
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Marcela MrugalaIt was a fantastic day of skiing yesterday!

13 hours ago
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Brandon BenallyCute but can she ski MOGULS as fast?

1 day ago
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Steve ZebrowskiSure didn't look anywhere near 101 inch base Saturday

9 hours ago
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Nic ReneeAwesome skiing this year

20 hours ago
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Lou KaltensteinWatched her cut her teeth at Holiday Valley! Go girl!

4 hours ago
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Elaine Lawrencer u having a good time

17 hours ago
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Indy BaileyVery cool!!

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Today's #DeerValleyMoment | Photo Credit: Emily Summers ... See MoreSee Less

Todays #DeerValleyMoment  | Photo Credit: Emily Summers

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Stephen HelmI thought that was Upper Stein, I have a shot real similar to that one

3 days ago   ·  1
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Joyce GriffinBeautiful photo, Emily Summers! It makes me want to be there making the first tracks down.

3 days ago   ·  1
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Brian ParkerIf I squint, I can just barely see my old house!

3 days ago   ·  1
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Randy CarterBeautiful and my acrophobia will dissipate as the thrill of downhill takes over.

2 days ago
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George LadnerI was there 2 weeks ago and loved it. Nearly as good as the Swiss alps/Zermatt¿¡¡

3 days ago
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Eric LongabardiNice shot Emily Summers! :) I can see Heber!

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Todd RameyTop of Steins, just past Sultan .

3 days ago   ·  1
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Alma WeldeLovely

2 days ago
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Janis Bauer FullmerBeautiful!

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Gerry FeherCorduroy....yea baby !!

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Will WilliamsDebbie Riley-Williams favorite place to ski in the USA 😎

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2 days ago

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Holly EtlinStein's Way, nice!

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Charlotte StrackBeautiful!

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Alan HorganI want to there now! Pity our £ is so cheap...

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Carolyn MacherBeautiful...

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Lisa AntellJordanelle run?

3 days ago

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