A Million Trees


Never give up… Keep tryin! Keep tryin!
February 11, 2010, 6:18 am
Filed under: Fitness, Grandparenting

Sleigh riding at Camp Determination

Our grandsons Ethan and Edison came to stay with Papaw and Mamaw for 10 days recently.  I said to my husband Jim when their visit was confirmed, “Great!  Let’s teach the boys determination!!”  We definitely want them to be as stubborn and bull headed as we are.   Oh yes we do.  We definitely do.

You see we were disturbed by their level of follow through when the going gets tough so to speak.  At first, it was an unwillingness to ride a bike if it was physically demanding or there could be a fall of any kind.  Then, it seemed to be snowballing into reports of  “The boys don’t like to be out in the cold.  They’d rather be snuggled up inside and warm with a cup of hot chocolate.”  and well, you get the idea…

So, hut two three four, to Mamaw and Papaw’s they came.  The boys arrived under the pretense of celebrating a late Christmas due to distance.  When at last we were all together again, little two year old Edison defiantly announced “Santa is fake!   …..  Santa is FAKE!!”  I had already been warned by my daughter Stephany that she felt it important that the boys not become confused about Jesus by believing in Santa.   My grandson “Older than five Ethan” knowingly looked on with approval at his little brothers’ assertion.  Jim and I later tried to present the snowshoes that Santa had left the boys but it was futile.  The bit about Santa being limited to the frigid, winter land of northern Minnesota would have made some inroads with little Edison but not older than five Ethan.   He took two steps back and lifted an eyebrow of disapproval that his grandparents would reach such lows as lie to him and his little brother.  My husband and I looked exasperated at each other knowing it just wasn’t worth sliding further onto this thin ice we found ourselves on.

We had our first instruction the next day with the very un-controversial activity called sleigh riding down the icy, snow covered driveway.  We first versed them in wearing layers for comfort.  They learned the importance of  stuffing their gloves inside coat sleeve elastic, the importance of the northern ‘gator’ for their neck protection, and not just stocking hats but knit hats with tabs down to their collarbones to cover tender ears and cheeks.  Next, came “the hill”.    We focused on form and technique, placement of the rope and it’s use, the wisdom of ‘ditching’ if they slide out of control toward a tree, etc… etc…

They were frustrated at times, Ethan kept forgetting the placement of the rope both up and down hill.  Edison lost patience at all the effort it  took to maneuver uphill.  Once, he almost stormed away sure I had betrayed him by accelerating his fall to the ground in front of the sleigh. Ethan cut through the Dutch language barrier I was experiencing with Edison’s excited scorn,  “He thinks you did it on PURPOSE?!.”   That too became a lesson in “Never give up.”  I coaxed Edison back to the peak of that hill and with determination he once again committed to have fun on the sled.

But then, it all came together when we just wouldn’t accept a failure to have sleigh riding fun.   They were naturals.  Why they flew down the hill.  Older than five Ethan proudly announced his desire to go up and then down the hill again and  little Edison belly laughed all the way down sitting face first into the wind in front of his big brother for added weight and speed. We were pleased that they had completed their first day of Camp Determination.  I smiled to myself  knowing it was on to snowshoes tomorrow…

Kids and Dogs in motion

And so I’ll leave you now to the rest of your day.  The saga of the snowshoes is a whole other story…


1 Comment so far
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Seriously…you are the best Mamah and Papa ever – stubborn and bull headed indeed…loving, wise, generous and hilarious come to mind too. I am so grateful for you – thanks and there will be much more to write about at Camp Determination =) I will make sure of that – xoxoxoxoxoxo.

Comment by Stephany




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