I went skiing last weekend. This is what I took away from the experience.
Like many of you, I was once a small child. Frolicking in the tall grass, catching crawdads down by the stream. Smokin’ Smarties. All kinds of shit. Childhood is a time to be let loose; to fall down, get up, and experience the world in a safe and mostly consequence-free environment. (Even the baddest lil’ mo-fos will only get juvie!) It is a time to learn and experiment.
They never accounted for skiing.
You all know Ski-Wee, right? Little kids wearing brightly colored vests and oversize flight helmets, learning to ski in gang formation? It’s sort of like a second baptism for white children, consecrating their winter bond with fake snow and North Face jackets. It’s also terrible.
I went to Hunter Mountain last weekend for my first ski outing in eight years and found myself surrounded by Ski-Wee kids everywhere I looked. “They’re so cute!” my friend repeated. “Like miniature adults!” No, like miniature projectile weapons. There is nothing cute about half-conscious children hurtling down an icy slope. Avoiding them is a near impossibility; no matter the trail color – green, blue, or black – there they are, carving a path of destruction*. Without ski poles or fear of death, they are the perfect killing machines. Tell me that picture isn’t at least mildly terrifying.
Beside its role as a death trap for unsuspecting skiers, Ski-Wee is a favorite among parents looking to prove how ridiculously they can dress their children. $300 camo snowboard pants? Spider-web jacket with matching gloves? Color and texture schemes which would be considered DEATH by the judges of Project Runway are all the rave among the pre-4th grade set. Their mismatched wardrobe lights up the mountain, especially in a reflective vest.
Ski-Wee is to childhood what Moutain Dew is to carbonated beverages, slapping it in the face and saying “get with the PROGRAM, dude!” as it transforms what might have been an idyllic moment between parent and child (unless there would be a leash used, in which case what are you even doing) into something dangerous and scary. Look at that kid up there again! This has to stop.
… Really, I’m just mad that 6-year-olds have mastered something that to me still feels totally foreign. It hurts.
* Yes, these little hellions have instructors… but have you ever met a ski instructor? Most are named “Chad” or “Willowbranch” and have avoided a hangover only because they’re too stoned. The perfect guide for “Suicide Gulch”!