As the antibiotics kick in and Alexander’s fever subsides we start having a little fun. The kids disappear into the snow and build forts. We caution them to stick together, but there is no lecture about the homeless guy on Ventura or the speed of cars. Instead we worry about boots falling off or spats between children.
The kids go to daycare ski school for a few hours and Robert and I take a few runs together. It’s fun, but it’s pretty tame and I’m needing just a little more.
I stand at the top of Outhouse and my brain clicks off. I haven’t a thought in my head other than can I do this? Has it been too long? I cannot think about Robert, the kids, pediatricians, Kasey. I can’t think of anything as I’m planning my route.
At some strange moment before my brain catches up to my gut, I’m headed downhill and carving a path between the bumps. I know it’s stupid, I know I promised Robert I wouldn’t do anything dumb, like ski double diamonds, but I’ve got one life and I’m capable.
Halfway down the run I stop for breath.
Let me tell you the number one rule of skiing the small tight bumps? Don’t stop. Restarting part way down a steep pitch is near impossible, now my arms are flapping like chicken wings and I’m the asshole in pink pants that should’ve stayed in Los Angeles.
And then it comes together. Miraculously, I’m back in control. My hips are swivels, my legs are charged, my arms glide effortlessly and my head is three bumps ahead of my body.
It’s why I ski. Any amount of travel is worth one perfect run.
The afternoons were peppered with physical challenges on the top of the mountain, the mornings came with parenting challenges and the evening alternated between perfect family fun, healing hugs and overwhelming sadness. It was a good trip. It was the right trip to take.
In the midst of it all, the reason I needed to be there was Kasey. There wasn’t a moment that we forgot him. Not even on the bumps.