Father Knows Best? Nah.

A few months ago, my dad called to tell me he’d hatched a plan for his next visit.

Considering one previous visit found me helping the kids select the most absurd Halloween mask they could find for their beloved grandfather to wear for Trick-or-Treating on Main Street, and another found me videotaping my father, a 68 year-old attorney, trying out the bungee trampoline at an amusement park, my interest was, shall we say, piqued.

 “What if I came out in January, took a week’s worth of ski lessons and then skied with the boys on the weekend?”

 I was thrilled by this idea–but also slightly suspicious. After all, he’d dived into ski school when I was in middle school, because I’d threatened to (wait for it) quit the sport.  Perish the thought. My dad, wise man that he is, felt like I might regret such a choice (which begs the question, Why, oh why, was I allowed to quit the violin??) – so he offered a deal—he would sign up for lessons simultaneously with my pre-race program at our local resort, and we’d meet up in the afternoons for some Dad-and-Daughter skiing.

 This is Parenting 101. Lead by example. Support your kids in their activities. Show up. Play along. My Dad, of course, got an A in this course.  And as a grandparent, he seems to go after extra credit, too (see: bungee jumping, above).

This plan, by the way, worked out really well—I improved rapidly, my dad, perhaps a little less rapidly. We found ourselves on a favorite blue—one with just enough steep to make it interesting, and about a third of the way down, my dad launched a yard sale. I skied up to him, a little worried. “Dad, are you ok?” Gamely, he began to collect his gear, and shake the snow out of his ski hat (pre-helmet culture, indeed). “Yep, I’ll be ok!” So, loving daughter that I am, I said, “OK, see ya!” And shot off toward the bottom. I know, very, very ungrateful. Bad, bad kid. I’m not entirely sure why his skiing tapered off, but given this history, it’s a wonder the man would volunteer his vacation time to relearn the sport and risk being exposed to such compassion again.

 And yet, he did.

 And he loved it.

I lined up two Max 4 lessons and a full-day private for “Parka.”(For reasons none of us can remember, Big Guy started calling him that around age 1, and it stuck). I wanted him to feel comfortable skiing wherever Big Guy wanted to take him on Saturday.  We had many, many discussions about gear. He reported to me mid-morning the first day that he’d struggled mightily with his boots, tried in vain to find the right positioning for his hat/gaiter/goggles arrangement. In a moment of mock exaggeration, this man who bikes hundreds of miles every summer, said drily, “You know, you just get on the bike….” I got a call from him from the chairlift that afternoon. “I’m skiing Success, and loving it. I will be here all night. Don’t wait for me for dinner.” I informed him the groomers may take issue with his presence after 4pm, so he decided to come home after all. But first, he stopped in the ski school office to change his lesson the next morning to the afternoon. It was my request—I couldn’t stand the thought of him having so much fun and not bearing witness to it.

Our ski morning together was a blast. He kept thanking me for helping him arrange it all. “I’m really having FUN!” And he was. He was also exercising caution. His stance was slightly hesitant, and his pace was deliberate rather than relaxed. Which was fine. I didn’t want to push. We parted ways after lunch—he headed off to his lesson with a sarcastic “see ya!” and I met up with my friends Lisa and Dave for a few runs on Flagstaff.

 The next morning, I decided to tag along for the first half of his lesson. I met Parka’s instructor, JR, and explained, “I’m just along for the ride—it’s his lesson.” As we descended our first turns, I shouted that I would ski ahead to watch—and to take some pictures and video. I was blown away by his improvement since the previous morning. We soon found our way over to Flagstaff, and did one of my favorite loops. Blue Bell to Silver Buck to Stargazer to Gemini. When we got to the Stargazer portion, my dad said, “Well, this is going to scare me a bit.” He then executed ten perfect, balanced turns to the top of Gemini. “Wait! I was just getting that! I want to do it again!” No lack of enthusiasm here.

 Soon enough, we were heading toward lunch at Snow Park when my father made a confession. “I made a mistake,” he said, with more than a hint of woe in his voice. He looked at me a little sheepishly before he continued. “I thought a full day lesson would be too much. So I cut it to a half day when I made the other switch. But now, I feel so great I want to keep going!”

 Sigh.

 “I can fix it. With my favorite tool,” I said, taking my cell phone out of it’s designated pocket in my jacket. Quickly, I was connected with a friendly member of the staff. “My dad thought he knew better,”I explained. This may not have been the first time someone decided to extend their day, because the very helpful gentleman on the other end of the call offered a knowing chuckle as he restored the reservation . Mission accomplished. JR and my dad and I sat down to a quick Snow Park Lunch (hello, Natural Buffet) before I scooted to town to pick up Little Guy and they headed off to ski more. We agreed to meet up an hour later on Wide West. Little Guy was keen to show his skills to his grandfather. He demonstrated three of his top skills (Candyland, Racecourse and Exhaustion Meltdown).

little guy skiing

 Unfortunately, by the next morning, Parka was sidelined with a minor but ski-boot-prohibitive foot injury, and he couldn’t complete the mission.

We all solved the problem at once. “When can we schedule a return visit?” Fab.

Leave your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Feed

Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Deer Valley Resort. | Video Credit: Instagram User @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Vincent Paguirigan, Helen Hayes and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Leon AllbrightWhere is that

6 hours ago

2 Replies

Avatar

Kim Wohleking-FernandezThat snow is for real!?

7 hours ago   ·  5

1 Reply

Avatar

Sarah BulverThat is beauty!!!!'nnnn

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Melissa BaileyMichael Bailey this is why they have moose on everything there 😂 still never saw my moose

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Jacob VincentRuth Arbagey apparently we needed to be at deer valley today!

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Meg McKownSuzanne Mckown Seeeee...Park City has all the cool animals too! Haha

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Dan PhelpsCourtney, could be a good season...

7 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Lisa Borgfeld WhiteGwenn Beaver, what a difference a week makes!

7 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Ged CarringtonHeather Sherry see they have moose in Utah lol

6 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Michela SeehusenShirley Hartlauer are you guys missing Utah yet???

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Alicia MoranAmanda Sanford, this is what we got today.

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jessie JohnsonBeautiful ❤️❤️💜💜❤️

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Brenda Perry-KerrI wish I was there!!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Patricia Davis LahnMy neighbor... just checking in(lol)

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Marie Benson PitilloAwesome!!! Can't wait!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Sarah Kaul PettigrewI am so in love!

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Angie MattinsonBeautiful!!!

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jill Catalano TrosoSnow already!!!!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Eric PikeWow so early

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Janet Bissell MooneySooo beautiful

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jeff NesslerThat's the smaller one, when we were up there on Saturday my wife had the bigger one walk right in front of her yeah that scared her

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Meredith Amelia BerlyColin Alexander Berly hey you who keeps up with deer valley's weather on a regular basis is it snowing this much there???? Already????

7 hours ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Martha BurlesonAwww,,,How pretty! My daughter n family lives there in Park City,,,I just visted them few weeks ago,,,,Love Park City,,,We even lived there in Utah awhile...Snow was Always beautiful....

59 minutes ago
Avatar

Suzie GordonOh yes mam! Snowed all night and all day!!!

4 hours ago
Avatar

Carey O'Malia GrossWe are so lucky to call this home with these neighbors!

4 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa

Mitchell Rowen, Pilar 'n Billy Cayton and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Amy DavidsonJudi Zarrella is it really snowing there??? I was seriously looking into moving that way..... but snow in September?!?!?!?

7 hours ago

11 Replies

Avatar

Eric AlexanderI swear only a week ago I was standing there drinking a cold beer and it was 70 degrees

10 hours ago   ·  2

3 Replies

Avatar

Jeff HallAnd to think, last week it was brown pow and perfect cycling conditions.

11 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Ed MccallOh Mother keep it coming, no more hot weather!

9 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Regan EdwardsMy 3 month countdown to Deer Valley is ON! ❤️👏Christopher Flint, I'm all about that base!

13 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Suzie Gordon...and it's still snowing now!

Attachment8 hours ago
Avatar

Jennifer StebenGoing to be another great season!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Tasha Spencer AgnewSimon Agnew, the countdown is on!! White stuff....yay!!!! 🎿⛷

11 hours ago
Avatar

Ed KliczewskiOMG Scott Scott Kliczewski, check out Park City!

8 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Melissa BremauerSue Wood yes yes yes!!! I have booked dinner for NYE at Cena, all confirmed 💃💃

9 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Steve DawsonAnde Dawson need to sort out our plans

13 hours ago
Avatar

Angee Palmer DeanI'm so not ready for snow. We need to have fall first.

4 hours ago
Avatar

Wendy ChiojiI love this.

10 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Melissa Jane Ruberts GusemanNot yet, please

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jeffrey HainesWinter is coming...

13 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Todd WallaceIt will be melted by next week.

8 hours ago
Avatar

Judi Zarrella

Attachment7 hours ago
Avatar

James RazerLove to see this in the snow!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Tina WeyersWow look at all that snow!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Staci HugginsSooooo, not right!

6 hours ago
Avatar

Rick KolminHere’s to nice powder all ski season.

6 hours ago
Avatar

Karen GrossmanAwesome!

10 hours ago
Avatar

Cindy CreteauToo early😬

6 hours ago
Avatar

Raquel Aliceayayyyyyyy!!!! 💙💙💙💙

4 hours ago
Avatar

John ThompsonSee you 2/25/2018!

13 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley