The Greatest Teacher

I’ve been trying to get my daughter to learn toeside turns on her snowboard for a while now. We’ve developed a routine: she rides on her heels all the way down the mountain, then on the chairlift back up I ask, “How about you try some toes?” to which she replies “How about I NOT try some toes.”

Suffice it to say, I’m not getting through. Perhaps I’m not the best teacher.

I picture her in a year going off with her teenage pals and all of them riding toes and heels and she’s on her heels and they keep waving her on but she can’t go fast enough and so they throw up their hands and leave her behind.

But there’s another reason I’m being so pushy, isn’t there.

I don’t want Evaline to lose her love of the mountain because then I don’t get to ride as much. Yeah, it’s totally about me, too.

So, you can imagine my fright when Evaline suggested to her buddy, who is a skier, that they switch equipment for the afternoon.

All I see is another lost afternoon of not learning snowboarding, another dozen rides further away from those beautiful synchronized S turns I see us doing in my white-capped mountain dreams.

Off she goes, strapping on skis and proceeding to slip and slide all over the place. She falls in all sorts of configurations, lands in snowbanks feet going in different directions.

But hey, she’s laughing the whole time. And so is her buddy. They actually get quite good. They’re doing blue runs by the end of the day.

It’s all they talk about on the ride home, laughing and replaying epic fails, and though I wish she was talking about how much she loves riding toeside, it’s this joy in the car and on the mountain that I’m really after, so I ask them to retell their silly tales of falling down. And they do.

Evaline bounces in her seat cackling out a story I can’t understand because she’s laughing so hard. Her friend gets it. She’s laughing just as hard, and its the laughter that does it.

It’s the laughter that reminds me of who the greatest teacher of all is.

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