Sunday, January 1, 2012

With Great Speed Comes Great Bodily Injury

Most people think that after the age of say, twelve, you can’t go sledding anymore. This is far from the truth; a great number of teenagers can be found hanging out on sledding hills; they just don’t actually sled. I, however, have been a big fan of sledding my whole life. The rush of wind and the thrill of speed more than make up for the long, arduous climb back up the hill that it took 13 seconds to get down or the jarring in the lower spine caused by bouncing over frozen ground with only a thin piece of plastic for padding.

 Just when I thought my sledding days were over, I realized I could take my son sledding as a weak excuse to fly through the snow once again. “No,” my wife said. “You’re not taking our six-month-old sledding.” Eventually he grew to be two years old, though, a perfect age to sit in a sled in front of me and shield me from the snow flying up in my face. 

I soon discovered that sledding had changed from when I was young. At the age of ten, I would have sought out the mound of snow built up at the bottom of the hill with no other thought than “This will be cool.” Now it’s, “This will hurt. I wonder if my co-pay applies to emergency room visits. Can I use my HSA to purchase ice packs? Maybe I’ll be able to deduct my medical expenses this year.” 

And then there’s the duration of the sledding event. I have nostalgic memories of spending the better part of a day sledding, and most of that time in mid-air wondering “now what?” But now that I’m dragging myself and a thirty-pound toddler up the hill every time, I’m more interested in quality than quantity. As in quality time sitting at the top of the hill resting. But a two year old has no interest in my stalling tactic of explaining why some trees lose their leaves in winter and some do not.  “Really, you want to go again…already?” 

 I can’t help but wonder when my son will be able to pull me up the hill. 

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