Lost on a Mountain.

I started jumping up and down as hard as I could when he went inside to get the two who had come down the mountain settled in the ski lodge. He tells me when he comes out if the others aren't down he is going to climb the mountain on foot to find them.

It had already been so long in 10 degree, wild blowing wind weather that I was numb despite a lot of layering. I kept jumping. 

We had let the big kids each take one of the Lucas' up a mountain they had never been on before after a ski lesson that left the two of them completely confident that they could ski down with their brother and sister. The instructions were buddy system. Pairs of two. Be patient. Careful. Do not take your eyes off of them.

Later when Dave and I talked about it, both of us knew one of them was just not ready yet, but he is an incredible sales man that kid. He can convince you of just about anything. We were taken in by his deep desire and bravery of wanting to go on the big mountain.

Mostly, we just didn't want him to be the man out in the tribe going up the ski slope.

I see a guy coming down the mountain helping a kid. He has the medic symbols shining bright red on his jacket. I know right away it isn't our kid but after he settles the boy back with his parents I go over.

I let him know that we have two boys still on the slope, no sighting of them and far too long after the others had come down. Dave gets back. I can feel him ready to pounce up the snow to go rescue our people.

The medic tells us to stand with him and wait a little longer. A few stragglers come down. Not ours. I just want this guy to go up and get my kids. 

Then we see it. A man holding our Lucas in front of him, helping him ski down. Eli by their side, skiing down slowly next to them.

Dave gets to them first running through the snow to meet them as fast as he can. The dad who found them and helped had kids of his own, and apparently had found them walking down the mountain, Eli carrying both of their skis. 


I'm new to the ski parent role. I kind of really love it. Watching them go from falling down every other second to riding lifts and mastering each lesson they take is thrilling for me. It is a lot of work with 4 kids on a mountain. So much stuff and time and patience needed.

The lodge we go to is almost always packed so I carve out space to lay out each kid's boots, pants, jacket, helmet, goggles, gloves and mask. I try to get them to understand the order to putting it all on. We usually get about half way there before Dave gets back from packing the truck and goes to work fastening all their boots. 

You have to check in and ask them who needs to go to the bathroom about 5 times. It usually isn't until they get their pants and boots on that one or three need to go. So we pause the process and they stomp down two flights of stairs to the bathroom.

That morning as I was wrangling three of them stomping down to the bathroom an older man comes up to me and says, "I just have to stop you. I've been watching you. I want to tell you you have the most amazing amount of patience with this herd of yours." He touched my arm and smiled at me as I laughed and told him how much I needed hear that.

We kept walking and I realized two of them didn't even have to go to the bathroom, they just wanted to go with me. Which cracked me up and I shooed them back to the bench to finish the gearing up.

During their lessons Dave and I get a break from the freezing cold and go to the bar. He has a beer. I have a Skinny Girl Margarita (which is seriously so good). We sit and talk and thaw out. The last time we had 2 1/2 hours to wait. I told him we would most likely run out of things to talk about.


After we thanked the father who helped Lucas down and brought the kids into the lodge they told us the story of what happened.

Lucas couldn't do the side to side movements down and kept falling. Eventually he just gave up. So Eli carried both of their skis down the mountain for a long time before they got help. I could see Eli's nervous system was shot. He was exhausted and a bit faint as his body warmed up. 

He told us he carried all the skis because he didn't think they would ever make it down otherwise. 

We were crazy proud of him. Them. 

I watched as he did some self repair on his nervous system, closing his eyes, resting his head in his lap as we waited for Dave to go get the truck. I made him eat some cheese its. 


Just when we think we've run out of things to talk about, we lose our kids on a mountain for long enough to realize, again, how in love with this family we created we are. To jump up and down on the earth that roots us, that holds us. To collect more stories of our lives. 

We get home and I make them little pizzas and we let them watch tv. They tell the story over and over.


And. There is no mountain we would not run up to find each other.