Start Them Young.

The other day my youngest turned two. I felt just that much older.
The first thing I did was bought him a pair of alpine ski boots and started shopping for a pair of skis.
I first had his sister out on skis when she was two and a half. I hooked her up to a harness and strapped her ski tips together so I could control her rate of descent, and we spent a few days of quality father-daughter time. She wasn't really doing much more than standing on the skis, giggling, pointing out random things, and generally being adorable. I was pretty much controlling where we went and how fast we got there. None of that mattered, because I was building towards the future.
At nine years old, she can't remember a time when she didn't ski. It's just something she does, so a lot of the mental blocks that people who learned later in life just never had time to develop. That doesn't mean she's fearless, because she is still a cautious skier (by my standards). Her mother and other non-skiing relatives think she's a crazy speed-demon.
I don't really care. She's out there doing something active at a time when most people are sitting on the couch. She's in a positive environment where she'll develop life-long skills. Few of her peers have such opportunities, and I'm glad I can make this possible for her.
Plus, skiing is cool.
When I got home with the ski boots, I put them on my son. He was dressed for bed in his fleece footie pajamas with puppies all over them, and the boots (the smallest I could find) were enormous on him. He looked at them, looked at me, started to whine, and pawed at the buckles to get them off. I guess Daddy might have pushed things a little fast or picked the wrong time of day to introduce new things. I'll try again later.
When the time comes, I'll pick a beautiful and otherwise mild winter day and we'll go to the hill together. I'll strap him up just like his sister before him, and we'll ride down the hill a couple times. Then we'll play in the snow or have pretzels and/or ice cream. I'll do everything I can to create the association in his mind between skiing and fun. There will come a time when he won't remember not skiing either.
This spring I'll start shopping for a kick bike.


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