What a difference...

>> Tuesday, 30 March 2010

...2 days make.

Sunday morning.

We're on holiday - skiing - in France. We drop Boy #1 off at his first lesson at Ecole de Ski Francais, in the hope that he can learn just how much fun it is to encase your legs in what feels like cement, strap a couple of bendy boards to your feet, and go against all your natural instincts to take them straight off again, instead pushing yourself off down a slope of icy coldness to what seems like (the first time you do it) certain death.

The drop-off does not go well. There are tears, tantrums, and Husband and I are seriously questioning whether our older son will ever 'get' the fun (because obviously, that's what it is) in skiing.

Tuesday morning.

I join Boy #1 half way through his third lesson to supervise break-time whilst their teacher takes some of his other pupils back down the mountain to meet their parents. The daughter of the family we are on holiday with - and who is also joining Boy #1 in ski school - is adamant that she has had enough for the day and that she wants to go home too. Boy #1, on the other hand, decides that perhaps a little bit longer wouldn't hurt, and manages to persuade her otherwise.

I look on, amazed, as 15 minutes later the barely-shaving-yet 19 year old teacher takes them both up the moutain and skis down an intermediate track with them. Boy #1 is skiing without poles and putting in perfect turns as he goes down the slope behind him, making little jumps on command and snow-ploughing to a stop when required.

He's having the time of his life, and I'm not sure I've ever been prouder; not because he's doing so well (although he is), but because Boy #1 has overcome his perfectly natural and understandable lack of confidence in an alien environment, has felt the fear, and has done it anyway.

In the paradox that is motherhood, of course, this gives me mixed feelings. He's growing up. This is amazing, wonderful, and a joy to behold. And a little bit scary, too; every step he takes - with me cheering him on from the sidelines - makes his obvious needs for me less. So as he learns to let go, I have to learn to let go too...


TheMadHouse 30 March 2010 at 17:31  

What a great post, it kind of encapsulates motherhood in the raw.

Well done to both of you

dulwich divorcee 30 March 2010 at 17:49  

Always the double-edged sword - lovely post

nappy valley girl 30 March 2010 at 19:38  

He sounds just like Littleboy 1 when he tried skiing last year - he spent the first three days in the 'crying hut' but was the most enthusiastic one there by the end. I'm glad he took to it.

I know what you mean though - it does mean they are growing up, and not babies any more....

Mwa 30 March 2010 at 19:59  

Motherhood's a bastard that way.

Expat mum 30 March 2010 at 20:21  

My 6 year old absolutely loved ski school this season but I remember pulling him out when he was three as I couldn't bear hearing that he'd cried for hours. Obviously it was far too early to start him. At four he told me "You'd better go now mommy else I'll cry", with a quivering lip which nearly did me in, but he was being very brave and actually settled in pretty quickly.

Home Office Mum 30 March 2010 at 22:28  

brilliant post. So true. So marvellous and so sad all at the same time.

planb 30 March 2010 at 22:40  

Can you be utterly delighted and inexpressibly sad at the same time? Of course you can. It's called motherhood. Well done him, and you....

sharon 31 March 2010 at 01:57  

Grown up or not they'll always be your babies and they will always need you one way or another - honest.

Sam I am 31 March 2010 at 02:47  

Yipppeeee....... I had one of those moments in the dentist today when Alfie didnt scream and actually LET the dentist look at his teeth. Doesn't sounds impressive but it was a HUGE step....

Iota 31 March 2010 at 03:37  

Yes, who IS it who lets go?

Well done, that boy.

Sparx 31 March 2010 at 23:48  

Wow, that's amazing... in all respects!

Anonymous,  1 April 2010 at 09:37  

It's a fantastic feeling when you find something like this that they really enjoy, and can do well, despite the fact that you're probably terrified watching them. Growing up is so hard for mums!

Tattie Weasle 1 April 2010 at 14:04  

I long for those moments when The Boy gets it and yet I am terrified of them too! They never told me any of this in the manual...

Potty Mummy 1 April 2010 at 15:58  

Thanks MH!

Thankyou DD - and yes, that's motherhood to a 't'...

NVG, yes, can someone tell me where the last 6 years went?

Mwa - I couldn't have put it better myself.

EPM, yes, when they're being brave it's almost as bad, isn't it?

Thankyou HOM!

PlanB, yes you can be. I think I probably am most days, actually!

Sam, it was a huge step - well done!

Iota, I think we know the answer, don't we. Thank god for blogging to help me remember that!

Thanks Sparx!

GPM, not sure there are many other jobs where the main measure of success is to make oneself largely redundant...

Tattie, you got a manual? That's not fair!

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