My pride story spans seven years – actually seven snowy winters. We are a skiing family and one of our goals was to have Nate join his brother Dylan, sister Annie and his parents on family ski trips and actually hit the slopes.
My husband Jeff and I had taught Annie and Dylan to ski and started working with Nate when he was about four years old. Winter after winter we strapped skis on Nate’s feet and put him between our legs or by our side and went down the bunny hill.
Nate’s legs would collapse and our backs would ache after hours of supporting his weight. His favorite part was the chair lift where we would help him on and off usually with a fall at some point. He would complain that his boots hurt, he was cold, or a long list of other gripes.
Sometimes a ski session with Nate would use up every ounce of patience we had. We enrolled Nate in adapted ski lessons and things began to turn around.
Last January, we packed the family up for our annual ski trip. On Saturday, Nate met with his ski instructors for his lesson. On Sunday, it was our turn to ski with him.
He proudly snapped on his skis and started down the hill. Everything clicked!! It was like angels broke into song on the mountain. After seven years of working with Nate, he got it and was skiing by himself getting on and off the lift.
We followed Nate down the hill with big smiles on our faces wishing we had the video camera to capture the moment. Yes, it took a lot longer for Nate to learn to ski than his siblings and yes, it was a huge effort on our part, but Nate was able to master the skill of skiing – a skill that he can use for the rest of his life to truly enjoy our family ski trips.