winter park, CO
Yesterday was a glorious day of skiing on silky snow, surrounded by grand mountains, until T caught a ski pole behind her and re-dislocated her bad shoulder. Huge disappointment and no small pain either. Luckily, it popped back into place in less than a minute, and she was able to get down the mountain on her own. More skiing, however, is out.
I must sheepishly confess something. I like skiing, but I don't love it. For my dear husband, on the other hand, nothing in the world is as sublime as downhill skiing, especially out west. When I volunteered to stay off the mountain today with T, he was incredulous. "What? Are you crazy?" The fact is, I went for my sunrise walk this morning with a spring in my step. I was relieved, and very happy not to have the prospect of heading for the slopes in front of me. J was very gracious, even if baffled.
Sometimes we do things in order to accomodate the group. There is a little bit of that "tyranny of togetherness" that I wrote about once last summer. We are, each of the six of us, different people with varying preferences in activity, food, politics, philosophy. We also love each other dearly, and want to share experiences. It's so hard sometimes to find that balance between sharing time together and maintaining our individual equilibrium as well. Family dynamics is not a state of perpetual idyllic bliss. It is perpetual maneuvering, giving and taking, loving and helping, pushing and giving in, advance and retreat.
Then there are things that fill me with gratitude - N and S discussing a European trip together next summer; the four kids speculating that they may all end up in Boston next year, and showing great excitement at the prospect; A considering a tatoo on her wrist with the initials of the six family members in a diamond shape; my three daughters fingers, with matching sister rings that they all wear; all three older siblings visiting T and seeing her freshman dorm room in Boston.
There is no question of their devotion to each other, no matter what stumbles may come along. It is a loving safety net that they all have woven between them, and the fibers have the strength of steel. There aren't many things more heart-filling than that.