“Just go,” my husband utters as I reluctantly open the door. With a houseful of snotty noses and fleeting whines, I’m having issues embarking on a fun-filled powder day by myself. You see – this winter we’ve been hit by the plague. Each month my family takes turns, as if in line for a carnival ride, battling the public school germs. Despite a cabinet full of supplements and healthy eating habits, viruses wreak havoc first on my children and then on the household adults. We’ve become living proof that no family is immune to the school-aged cesspool.
As I wipe away boogies, I reminisce about my old-school snowboarding days. Late night bar festivities always followed bell-to-bell riding. And then I’d get up and do it all over again the next day. There were some meager work hours sprinkled in the mix. But for the most part I rode powder – somehow, somewhere – nearly everyday.
To say my winter agenda has changed a bit would be a gross understatement. I actually haven’t stepped foot in the base lodge bar in almost six years. Instead, we spend our winter weekends sledding and sessioning our yard’s full-fledged jib park. Snow skates, skis and sleds in-hand, my kids trudge up the snow-swept “south park” to take a spin on their home-groomed turf. Their dad trails behind hitting rainbow rails, log slides and dropping into the driveway off of a hand-welded stair hit.
But today it’s just me heading up to the hill blaring hip-hop music loaded with swear words. It doesn’t matter that first chair loaded a half hour ago, as overly-caffeinated locals waited in line jonesing for their fix. And if I’m the last one up the boot pack, so be it, ‘cause I lost myself somewhere back on my 100th step. When I reach the top, I strap in and breathe deep. Out here I lose my identity and become just a snowboarder.
Dropping in, I cascade over snotty germs and overtake viruses riddled in powder fields. Carving out wellness, I lay an edge into a wavelike wind lip. With every lap – chair lift, hike, ride – my life’s role of mother, wife, writer and consultant fades into distant memory. I camouflage myself against the white backdrop and fade into mountain nothingness.
The car ride home brings silence, buzzing only with my endorphin-induced coma. I enjoy the vibration knowing that reality will soon set in. My role doesn’t truly commence again until I open the mudroom door. And as if they were perched on the edge of their chairs the whole time I was gone, the kids shriek my endearing name…”Mommy!”
Christina Shepherd McGuire is a wife, mother, snowboarder and freelance writer. When she’s not busy engaging in first grade homework or wiping snotty noses, she’s crafting styly pose for cool brands like Kate’s Real Food. Check out her exploration of adventure living, creative work and modern mothering at www.skirtingseason.com.