About three weeks ago I was cooking dinner when my high-school son walked in.
“Hey, I have to stay after school tomorrow, we have ski practice.”
Perplexed, I looked out the window. “Hate to break it to you kiddo, there’s no snow.”
He rolled his eyes at me, it’s something ever teenager has mastered to the point of perfection. “We know that, Ma.”
I rubbed my aching head with my hands, something every parent of a teenager has mastered to the point of perfection. “Okay, I’ll bite. How can you ski if there isn’t any snow?”
“We’re going to be doing dry-land conditioning. You know, running, weightlifting, that kind of stuff.”
“Weightlifting?” I echoed. "I don’t recall any muscle heads going down the slopes at the Olympics."
“Whatever. Can I stay or not?”
“Stay where?” my husband asked as he walked in the door.
“Ski practice.” By now my son had gone past the point of eye rolling phase to the hands-thrown up-in-disgust phase.
“But, there’s no snow.”
“They’re going to pump iron.” I replied.
“Since when do you want to join the ski team?” hubby quizzed the boy.
“I’ve always loved to ski and I thought this would be cool. Not only that, the whole team gets to wear cool Spyder coats.”
Yeah, that was his incentive. Forget school spirit, forget the varsity letter, forget the scholarship. My son wanted to be on the team for a flipping coat.
“If you want to join, that’s fine by me,” I conceded. “Just don’t go and do something stupid like break a leg.”
The next day, I walked in from my day-job to find the boy sitting on the couch, a look of despair and embarrassment on his face. One foot was propped on a pillow and there was an ice bag on it.
“What in the hell happened?” I dropped my briefcase and went over to inspect the damage.
“I hurt it at ski practice,” he spoke so low it was almost a whisper.
“The ski practice with no snow?”
The eyes rolled again as he let out a deep sigh. “Yes, that would be the one.”
“I zigged and my foot zagged. I think I may have sprained it.”
Sprained it? His foot was the size of a football. I uttered the sentence all parents dread, “I think we need to go the emergency room.”
We made the short drive to the ER, the entire way he didn’t say a word. Too upset by thoughts of a lost Spyder coat for idle chit-chat. As the nurse was wheeling him back to his room, she asked how he did it.
“Ski practice,” I announced cheerfully, eagerly waiting her response. Her brow wrinkled in confusion.
“But there isn’t any…”
“…snow,” my son finished. “I know, I know.”
Long story short, the poor kid broke his foot and is going to have to spend the next six weeks in a cast. The sad thing is he can’t even say he was injured during a big ski meet because he was out before one single flake hit the hill. Good news, he will be out of the cast for the last half of the season.
Does this mean he only gets half a jacket?