What we needed to get through a cold, dark Monday morning

skiingIt’s been a pretty unremarkable mid-January Monday morning. We woke up in darkness to temperatures nearing -20C. The distractions of the weekend receded into the past, our minds all focused on the work commitments, homework assignments and errands of the week ahead.

We try to eat breakfast together most mornings (or at least be in the kitchen together for a few fleeting moments, since getting our 12-year-olds to eat anything in the morning is an uphill battle), but this morning my husband was out walking the dog when the rest of us converged over toast, cereal and breakfast smoothies.

There were no arguments or battles (of the “she’s wearing my shirt!” or “I forgot there was a geography test today” variety), but not much in the way of laughter or shared warmth. A cold, dark Monday morning kind of mood.

It’s mornings like this that I like to hold on to those memories of happier family togetherness. Hard to imagine that a little over a week ago we were enjoying three days of time, just the 5 of us. No cellphones for the kids. No friends to compete with. No restaurant outings, Wii games or work commitments hanging over our heads.

The nice folks at Smuggler’s Notch Family Resort in Vermont had invited us down so I could check out their new family activity and their impressive adaptive skiing program for kids and adults with physical and cognitive impairments. We took advantage of the time to get in some skiing together. Even the snowboards got left behind. Just the 5 of us, together around the fireplace, riding on chairlifts, enjoying the outdoor hot tub, indoor waterparks.

It was really special.

We are very fortunate to have a place north of Montreal to go for skiing and summer fun, and we have a wonderful community of friends up there that make it all more enjoyable. We love those group skiing outings, pooled lunches at the Cafe and packs of happy children racing each other down the mountain.

But it’s also nice, every once in a while, to focus in on our children. To really listen to what they have to say. To let them pick the runs, decide when it’s lunch time. It was also wonderful to explore a whole new mountain together.

These are the things we need to hold on to as vacation shifted back into work and school and the messy business of day-to-day life. At very least, it got us through another Monday morning.

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