“Me got air! Off the big jump!” With eyebrows raised, mouth in a can-you-believe-it?! Bronson informed me of his latest snowboarding shenanigans.
I can’t believe it. Except I’ve seen it.
A few days ago, I took Bronson out for a front yard shred sesh while his little brother slumbered. I quickly realized the back-breaking labor Ryan has relentlessly performed – being a personal lift is a tiresome task. And Bronson won’t let up: “Woohooo! More, mama!”
I’m shocked by his agility, his ease with a sideways stance, his natural understanding of knees bent, pop off the jump.
I secretly pray someone invents full armor protection for snowboarding soon. I’m quickly realizing that he’s infected with a mother’s worst nightmare – his father’s love for air and his mother’s need for speed. Dear God, help us.
We were careful not to push snowboarding on him, though sometimes I worried what would happen if Ryan’s boys didn’t want to hit the slopes. Ryan tries to play it cool, like it would be no big deal, but I know how much he wants to pass on his passion.
It’s becoming clear there’s no need to fret, at least not about whether or not Bronson would want to snowboard.
At one, I watched the drool on his chin while he stared at the snowboarders on-screen. At eighteen months, I watched him become a Sugarloafer. At two, I watched him start to jump. An obsession was born.
Snowboarding is a daily reality for my boy.
And don’t count Oli out. The one-tooth grin he sported when we simply stood him on the board is likely a telltale sign.
When I watch Bronson board, I try to manage the swell inside of me – the enormous pride over a child having so much fun and being so determined and skilled so young. But the flip side is the fear, the mom in me, that wants him safe above all, would rather he wasn’t doing something that risked injury. The mom in me that thinks he’s only two; I thought I’d have more time to relax than this.
I know Olympics are a rare achievement. I certainly don’t want to pressure the kid, but I tear up when I watch the Olympian mom commercials because I’m already realizing what a child’s greatness – Olympian or not – requires of their mom. Back-breaking work, letting go, silencing fears, helping them try again when they fall, letting them hit jumps at two.
It’s natural to try to protect your children, but a great mom – Olympic caliber moms – must override her own fears to let her children soar.
And at this point, I’m not sure I have a choice – it’s already been set in motion down the slope.