Saturday, March 3, 2012

On Being a Jealous Sister and Weekending in the Snow

My brother and I haven't always gotten along. I blame my parents for this. There I was, a perfectly content almost six-year-old only child, living the dream. No one to have to share toys with, no one to compete for my parents' attention with, no one to fight with. Those were some good times. Then suddenly my world was turned upside down by the birth of a behemoth baby boy, who clearly was not going to fit into the frilly pink dress I had chosen for my new sister.

Once he grew out of the wormy newborn phase and started to put on some pounds in his cheeks, I thought my baby brother was kind of cute. It was fun to dress him up in my doll clothes and parade him around the grocery store. I liked bringing him to school to show off, since none of my elementary school friends had actual babies living in their houses.

But then he started to crawl and get into my things. Soon he was toddling all over the place and nothing was out of the reach of his grimy little hands. But the worst thing about my brother was that he was just so goddamned adorable. He had the face of a cherub- golden curls, chubby pink cheeks, sparkly blue eyes, and a set of dimples that made strangers on the street fall all over themselves telling my mom how beautiful and angelic her baby was. Meanwhile I had reached that awkward stage of growth where my teeth were too big for my face and to make matters worse, stirrup pants came into style. No one oohed and aahed over toothy, gangly, stirrup pants-wearing eight-year-old me, that's for sure.

As he got older it became obvious that he had a natural athleticism and it seemed there was no sport he could not play. The kid had trophies lining his shelves and enough Kidsports t-shirts to clothe a small continent. Not only was he a star athlete, he was also so personable and quick to smile and easy going that people were drawn to him. I, on the other hand, grew to loathe him.

But then years passed and there came a time when I needed my brother, and he needed me, too. We leaned on each other and from our shared dark time we forged a new friendship which has more than made up for all of the fighting we did as kids. And then he brought home a girl who became like a sister to me and now when we plan a weekend getaway to the snow, they are the people we want to invite.

The roads were bare when we arrived in Sunriver, but we woke up the next morning to this:

We had planned a day of skiing and snowboarding at Bachelor, but after a treacherous, white-knuckled drive up to the mountain it was clear that Mother Nature had other things in mind for us. So we came home and took power naps while the blizzard raged on and then we ventured out to find a sledding hill and spent the afternoon shrieking and sledding and laughing and throwing snowballs.

Sawyer continues to struggle with the concept of keeping your gloves on to stay warm. I am hoping he figures this one out soon.

Does this seem like a bad idea? It probably was...

Nick tried over and over again to snowboard down the sledding hill on the disc. Brent just made it look so easy, but something about Nick's towering size made this an impossible feat for him. I laughed harder at this than I should have, but then again I did have to sit through all of those Kidsports games while the crowd cheered for my MVP brother.

After we said our goodbyes on Sunday morning we decided to swing by Willamette Pass on our way home and get in an afternoon of skiing. It was powdery perfection and sunshine all the way.

Are you going to ask about my hat?? I've had this hat since I was in elementary school and my mom knitted it for me. I am pretty sure I chose the color scheme. I love this hat- you can always spot me on the mountain.

I asked Brent to take this picture because, although I am not usually a fan of the posed photograph, I am often struck by the notion that this is a moment that defines who we are. This picture is how I want my kids to remember me. I'm at work a lot. Sometimes I am grouchy. I probably spend too much time cleaning my house. But then there are the days when we drop everything and ski. Those days deserve a photo.

Just like how my boys deserve a weekend in the snow with their Uncle Nick. Because all that charisma and athleticism means that he's pretty much the coolest person in the world to his nephews. Even if he was kind of a pain in the ass when he was a kid.

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