Diary of an Adoptive Mom #33


Diary Mom
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 33rd of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily, Grant, and Lynn--finds a winter activity that all the family can enjoy.

We had so much fun! I’ve found an activity that suits all the family!

I hate winter and the thought of spending another season of timing everyone’s turn on the computer or video games, from November to March, was more than I could take. Perhaps I could take the kids skiing? I skied right up to my teen years. I had fun. They’d have fun too. Wouldn’t they?

Then I had a flashback to five or six years ago, when friends with “typical” kids invited us to go cross-country skiing for a day, and we thought that would be “fun” too. And it was--until one of the kids had to use the bathroom and the only facilities available were outhouses. Had I known this, I may have been smart enough to decline the invitation. Do you have any idea how tough it is to get a kid out of a snowsuit in time to make it to the outhouse? Outhouses are not heated. Nor is there room for more than one person. I shudder, even now, remembering. One child was scared to death of even going near the outhouse, thinking the big black hole would swallow her up. One child (thank goodness) couldn’t have cared less and it didn’t bother her at all. Note: this is the same child who joined our family at the age of three, who had never been anywhere that didn’t have a public bathroom, and she thought we were making it up when we told her to go pee behind a tree during a hike our first summer with her. She’s a quick learner. The other child, well he just couldn’t make it to the outhouse in time, and he ended up peeing himself. So I ended up in the “lodge” with him trying to get his clothes dried out. But I digress.

Despite this bad memory, and the fact that my husband decided to “skip this one,” I decided to give it a go. Don’t even ask how much it cost. And it only took just over an hour to get everyone fitted with equipment and ready for their lesson. So, while they headed off for a lesson with some young guy with an Australian accent, I grabbed my gear and headed off to do a few runs.

I was shocked. I’m a pretty decent skier! I kept checking on the kids’ progress, and they were doing great! How come they can pick it up so fast? The instructor even took them up on the quad chair lift, and gave them a taste of a longer run than the bunny hill. We took a break for lunch, then headed out again. By then end of the ski season, we had managed to get out at least four times. The kids got better and stronger each time.

So, fast forward to winter 2009 and we have rented equipment for the whole year for all the kids, and my husband too! We are now a skiing family. I never thought it would happen, but it has. Okay, so perhaps we’re not the trendy cool family with expensive coordinated outfits who can afford to eat in the restaurants up at “the hill,” but we are actually having tons of fun as a family!

Downhill skiing is one of the best activities for ADHD/FASD kids. There are no “teams,” there’s tons of movement, lots of speed, protective equipment and, best of all, fresh air to help them burn off all that energy, and they feel great that they have been successful. Okay, they still need tons of supervision--my son seems to enjoy using his ski pole as a machine gun and aims at every tower making machine gun sounds, while he and his sister argue over whether or not the polar bears would eat the penguins if they were on the same continent, and who has larger teeth, crocodiles or T-Rex.

Despite all my hesitations and second guessing, this is one of the best winters we’ve ever had. I’m so glad we made the effort.