Skiing with Hilaramis

One of our nicknames for Aramis is Hilaramis, because he is always saying or doing the funniest things. This week’s ski trip has been no exception. Here are some of the highlights:

We watched “The Sound of Music” last week and the kids have been singing the songs ever since. One night we were driving around Avon and Aramis was singing with great force “When… you… know… the… notes… to… sing…, you… can… sing… most… an-y-thing!” Only he wasn’t hitting the notes. Any of them. But what he lacks in tonality he makes up for with enthusiasm. The effect was hysterical and Dave and I shared a good chuckle over it.

We’ve worked out a great system on this trip where I ski with the three older kids for a few hours in the morning, then Dave skis fast and furious on his own for a couple of hours, then Dave and Emma and sometimes Atticus ski together the last couple of hours ’til it’s quittin’ time. Aramis and I ski at approximately the same level, only he likes going faster than I do, except in the flat parts where he needs to go fast. We have been working on a slingshot move where, when he gets stopped or is going too slow in a flat part, I ski up beside him, stick one of my poles in his belly, he grabs on and I sling him forward while he yells “Slingshot!” This works out great most of the time, but today we tried the move on our last run with surprising results. I had taken the straps off my poles to help Aramis up from a tumble in the powder and decided not to put them back on since we were almost done, and when he was stuck a short while later, I attempted the slingshot move, but I was going a little fast and the pole came out of my hand. The result was that I kept going and Aramis stayed standing still, each up us holding one of my poles and looking bewildered. This had us laughing for a good while. It’s a bit of the blind leading the blind when I’m in charge.

It snowed last night so today was our first good powder day. But when you’re 5 years old good powder can have its drawbacks. Like it comes up to your knees and makes it harder to ski and easier to fall. But Aramis didn’t seem to mind, in fact he found it amusing that his skis kept getting “dirty” (piled high with snow). He did fall more, but he took it with his usual good humor, and even expressed a preference for skiing in the deeper stuff. We were on one trail where we passed a snow cat on its way up grooming the trails and I pointed out to the kids that we now had the choice between the fresh powder and the freshly groomed trail. Emma shouted, “We want powder!” and Aramis echoed her sentiment with gusto. On one such trail he lost his balance and pitched forward, but managed to catch himself and was skiing for a few moments bent over, hands on skis, helmet gliding along in the snow, and then righted himself without falling over or even slowing down. We laughed all day about Aramis skiing on his head.

One of Aramis’s spills took place in a spot where the rest of us had made a sharp turn, so Emma and I were a bit ahead of and below Aramis, and Atticus was even further ahead of us. Aramis lost a ski in this particular fall, so we were all waiting a good while for him to get going again. He finally gave up and decided to come to us. He picked up his ski and half skied, half walked down to where Emma and I were watching him. The site of him trudging/skiing while carrying his ski was enough to start us giggling. We cleaned off his boot and got him put back together, and the moment his boot snapped into his binding he gave Emma a little wave and said, “Out of my way, Emma!” He was ready to go!

Aramis has always been a chatty kid, very talkative, even to himself. He is also very expressive when talking, he makes lots of hand gestures. Anyone who has spent a lot time with him knows this. I realized this week that he talks while skiing. Nonstop. I think he has taken to skiing so intuitively that he’s not really thinking about what he’s doing, he’s just entertaining himself. I first realized he was talking because I kept hearing his voice, but then it struck me that he was doing it without ceasing because he kept gesturing and bobbing his head from side to side. Who knows what kinds of conversations that kid is having all the way down the mountain? I’m sure they are amusing, as just knowing that he’s doing it is amusing in itself.

Emma is officially the second best skier in our family, closing fast on Dave. She leads the pack most of the time when I’m skiing with the kids, she loves jumps and skiing through trees and going very fast. She gets a little bored and frustrated when skiing with Aramis and me because we slow her down, but she’s a trooper as always, and is quick to help anyone out who gets into trouble.

Atticus is slightly behind Emma in skill, but he makes up for it with a daredevil’s spirit. He likes jumps too, but he can rarely see where he’s going to come out, and he doesn’t seem to worry too much about it. I’ve seen him shoot out right in front of an approaching snowmobile, and with Dave and Emma he took a jump which landed him about 6 feet straight down, right under a boundary rope. When he gets bored with the slower pace I see him doing nutty stuff like skiing on one foot, with the other lifted out to the side. Crazy kid!

One thing is for sure, we are having a lot of laughs!

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