Ever since my childhood, my love for the snow and the long slats has been in my blood. A family photo proves that at the tender age of 2, I already slid between my father’s legs across the white snow-covered landscape. With a huge smile! That was the moment the first seeds were planted. And despite skiing lessons on the Dutch dry slopes, it took me an almost unbearable wait for a small child, a whole 7 years before I was allowed to make my return to the slopes.
Of course, I knew why so many years had to pass before my love could be rekindled. My father and I shared this love together, but my mother and sister didn’t! At the top of the blue run, they thought it was high and scary and felt more at home at the (preferably sunny!) terrace at the bottom of the mountain.
That’s why I almost always went into the ski lift with dad and then together we made the most beautiful descents. But when I looked at family groups who were all together on the slopes, something started to gnaw inside: It looked so much more enjoyable and sociable. I wanted that too and could not suppress a somewhat jealous gaze. Not that it wasn’t fun with dad, don’t get me wrong. We really had great days, but with your whole family, it just seemed even nicer.
Just goes to show, that old truism, you just want something you don’t have!
To me as a teenager, my father had an embarrassing habit when he was in a fun mood. He would shout to the skiers around us; “Ich wünschen ihn allen ein sehr schönes gutentag!” [I wish you all a really wonderful day!]. Of course I was so embarrassed at these moments and thought how stupid was I to have gone skiing with him by myself! Though, like all teenagers, I found everything my parents did quite annoying.
And so I decided at a young age that I would do things differently later. When I was a “grown up”, with a husband and children, we would all go skiing together – how wonderful would that be? It soon became one of my dreams.
And now, for the first time, we are standing in a row with the four of us in the ski lift. My skis glide over the snow, the sun glistens on my skin and the sky is clear blue. Kaiserwetter, as they call these fantastic conditions in Austria.
The boys are standing in front of me in the elevator and both turn their faces several times. I get a big thumbs up accompanied by big grins. They also have a love for the snow. They are looking forward to it, just like us! My heart secretly makes a small jump. I am so proud of them! This is what I wished for.
But hey, let’s not make it a picture perfect. Before our wee family was standing ready in this ski lift, there’s been a lot of perspiration over our brows. Because hoisting an entire family in ski clothing, putting on 4x ski boots (the boys can’t quite do it themselves!), carrying skis to the slopes and so I can continue for a while. Are the ski passes in the jackets? Did everyone bring their gloves and helmet? And has everyone been to the bathroom? Otherwise the party starts all over again! If I had not been infected with the ski love sickness, I would certainly have given up.
I feel immensely grateful that we are going to make a descent for the first time with the four of us. This is what I’ve always dreamed of, but for a moment my thoughts wander off to my youth. How stupid I thought it was to sit in the ski lift with a joking father, I would really love him here back with us for a little more time. But alas, life had different plans. Before I get out of the elevator, I quickly look up to the sun and say very gently in myself, “Ich wünsch dich eind schönes gutentag, dad.”
“Come on mom, race you!,” my little boys shout when they have left the elevator behind them. I am proud to see how, followed by their father, they start the race down. It seems that dreams do come true!