There are many things you wonder as a parent. Am I raising my children right, have I instilled the right values in my child, am I truly teaching them what's important, am I keeping them close to nature and are they truly learning the right things from me as a parent?
It's often hard to gauge these questions because we are so entrenched with our day to day routines. We're so close to our children on a daily basis that it becomes difficult to recognize the mile markers but I can tell you that skiing and being on the mountain has given me a realistic glimpse into if I've been teaching my child and if he's been learning.
I've been bringing my son Austin to Mt. Hood Meadows since he was 6 years old he's now on the fringe of 16. I can sense he is truly about to become an adult; only 3 year and he's off to college. Seeing our children grow up is something we dream of but when the time comes we reflect and truly hope we've done right by them. Our greatest question is if we've taught them the lessons they'll need to succeed in life.
As I look back and see all of the smiles in the pictures from the time he was a little boy to now, my wife and I feel accomplished in providing him with happy memories and fun times. When I look at him taking his first turns in the the mini halfpipe at Meadows to now watching him jump off cliffs with style and carve perfect powder turns, I realize that he's been learning so much. I didn't think about it when we were on the mountain together but he was listening and watching closely. I see my own riding style in his, sometimes it's almost a reflection. Austin is a better skier then I am now and that makes me proud. I was the one with him on all those stormy days, sunny days and on the most epic of days when we'd take him out of school to go ride Mt Hood Meadow's legendary powder. It's funny how a skiing or snowboarding can become a euphemism for teaching your children but life is truly a marathon event and they are always listening and learning.
Teaching Austin how to ski was only a small part of his life but seeing the progression with him in this sport assures me that the other lessons in life that we've been working so hard to instill in him have progressed just like his skiing has. If you really want to see your work in action, take the time to teach your son or daughter a sport like skiing or snowboarding. You'll be amazed at how much more you'll learn about your parenting then you ever dreamed.