Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mushing my family

Is that the right terminology? Does a musher mush his passengers or just his dogs, or does he just mush? In this case, it was Beth, Ethan, our friend Rebecca, and the dogs. The owner was offering a dog sledding experience to two riders, plus a co-musher standing next to him on the end of a ski. Those sitting on the sled have it easy, but a musher is expected to be part of the propulsion team. “Just riding is a luxury,” as the owner put it.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised then, that when I stepped on the ski, the team took off with no veteran beside me! After all, he’d been working hard giving lots of rides, and he asked me if I’d been watching carefully while waiting in line. Fortunately, the dogs were perfectly competent without any direction from me. Beth and Rebecca didn’t even know I was the only one back there until I told them about halfway around the loop.

Coming into the last turn, the dog’s master shouted for them to take a faster pace—and they did. What a ride! And at this clip I was just riding; it was too fast for me to help push. Just staying on the ski was effort enough.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another Ethan first: He rode his tricycle in the snow.

Upon returning home from church and getting out of the car, Ethan spied his tricycle in the garage and asked if he could ride it in the snow. There’s nothing like first-hand experience for learning, right? So I said he could try. Undaunted by my prediction of how things might go, he rode his tricycle to the edge of the driveway, to the foot of the tallest snow bank.

Ethan pushed his tricycle up the bank and climbed on. He quickly realized he couldn’t pedal, but he could stand up and drag himself forward with his feet. “Daddy, it works!” Ethan trudged on, making a loop in the side yard. He tipped over once, but was resilient all the way through. After about half way, what began with initial exuberance had transformed into a more realistic outlook. “Ethan ride tricycle in summer.” Still, he never lost his joy.

Ethan seemed to like that he was by himself in the deep snow. I was standing on the driveway in dress shoes with every intention of staying there. On his way back, Ethan finally asked for help a few feet from the driveway. I told him I thought he could make it by himself. His eyes lit up, and he pushed his way forward with bubbling excitement as he cross his finish line back to solid ground.

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