Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lessons from the Lodge

It is amazing what you can learn while sitting in a ski lodge.

My son and his buddy wanted to hit the slopes so I decided to take them a quick 45 minutes up the road and enjoy the day at an Ohio ski hill. Yes, a hill, it's Ohio. Not much for elevation change in the Central part of the state. None-the-less, the boys were about to have a blast.

Today I decided to sit this one out. They were both boarding and I, well, wanted them to take on the day how they saw best fit. "Next time", I said.

While sitting just inside the snow covered runs, I found myself engrossed in small talk with those around me. Most of us were doing the same thing. We had each decided to allow our kids to take to the lifts and enjoy the day being on their own. We were fostering our children's passion to ski while also allowing them to dive into their independence. This became my lesson for the day.

Giving our children their independence is not easy. For so many years we spread our wings and shelter our young from the "real world" that sitting back and letting them face daily obstacles is challenging to say the least. I gazed out the window frequently hoping to catch a glimpse. It wasn't to be. They were up, and down, the slopes too quick for my eye to see.

As parents, we share similar sentiments when it comes to our hopes and goals for their success. We want them to conquer their fears, take on the challenges that lie in front of them and be strong in their will to improve. The hill became the metaphor to my desire to want them to succeed. To those I conversed with, we each strive for our children to reach the peak of their potential.

We are proud of our children's accomplishments and brag on them endlessly. We each take great pride in what our children can do. When given the opportunity we share with others all that they have done in school, with their interests and their passions. That gives us great satisfaction of our jobs as parents. For every moment of parental challenges, today was an opportunity to reflect on all we have done right.

As you enjoy your winter of spending time with your children or those you impact through your teaching, remember that every day you are making a difference in their lives. No moment is to simple and no conversation just words. Each breathe of each day is a lesson all by itself. So, whether in the classroom or on the slopes, encourage them take risks, overcome obstacles and move beyond the "bunny hill". Great things await them and we as adults can't wait to sit around and brag on them while sitting in the lodge.