Friday, March 02, 2007

Meet my son, the hot doctor


Last week was Queen's "reading week," a week off from classes during which, I was assured by my students, little reading is actually done. I did little reading myself and, I admit (for those who are still hanging around here), no writing (truth be told, I'm in a bit of a muddle, as Forster would say. But perhaps more on that another day).

We went to Mont Tremblant, in Quebec, for my first bona fide vacation (i.e., non-family-related travel) in seven years. I had learned to ski at a small hill near Tremblant -- called Gray Rocks -- when I was six years old, and looked forward to teaching my own children. My daughter, now six (I was pregnant with her during my last vacation), took to the slopes like a duck to water: smooth and determined. My four-year-old son, otherwise exceptionally athletic, presented something of a challenge.

When placed on a slippery incline bolted to two sleek boards, most humans will tend to, well . . . tense up. Not my boy. Ready to go. Loose as spaghetti. Built for speed. In development-speak, Oliver has "low danger awareness."

This means he has no fear.

Oliver also has a language disorder that makes it difficult for him to process speech -- in particular, to comprehend what is said to him and to respond appropriately, either through speech or behavior. Otherwise known as "listen to directions."

No matter how often I flanked my own skis in a snow plow (as a model), or got down on the ground and placed Ollie's skis in the same position, or put my verbal instructions in the most concrete terms possible, nothing was going to prevent that boy from going down the mountain as fast -- and potentially out of control -- as possible. Needless to say, I did not relish the prospect of peeling Ollie's dairy-soft skin from the bark of a mountain pine.

In a moment of inspiration (otherwise known as frustration), I physically engulfed my son from behind: I planted my skis outside his (his tips were linked by a "ski bra"), gripping his hips with my knees; fastened my poles as a horizontal bar in front of his chest; reached under his shoulders to grasp the poles in front of him, thus bracing him with my arms; and told Ollie to hang on to my poles. We skied together, as one, for the rest of the week.

Delightful.

Those who know Ollie know how naturally exuberant he is: the combination of the ongoing warmth and closeness of our two bodies and his unvarnished exhilaration at the free-sweeping movement downhill, well. . . where was Master Card to capture it? It was priceless (though admittedly facilitated by copious amounts of ibuprofen and apres-ski hot-tubbing).

Not surprisingly, my little thrill-seeker sought any opportunity to "take air." We skied on broad flat green runs the whole week, but even those trails have ravines on the edges where the adventuresome might divert briefly before popping back up, with a jump, back onto the main slope. Ollie took it upon himself to scan the trails for every such opportunity.

"So, you're a hotdogger, eh?" I chided him initially. "Ok, hotdogger, let's have fun." The squeals of delight when I would lift him up (most concerned to maintain total control, I was actually lifting him out of the jumps) were exquisite -- indescribable -- and I admit I indulged his (what I called) hotdogging.

At the end of the day, waiting for the shuttle van, we ran into someone we had met from the hotel, who was kind enough to strike up a conversation with my tyrolean tyro.

"So, Ollie, did you enjoy skiing today? Are you a good skier?"

"No, I'm not a good skier. I'm a hot doctor."

Work it out.

Priceless.

4 comments:

Amanda Bonner said...

With a mom who is known in certain academic circles as "the FOXXX", how could he be anything but a "hot doctor" on the slopes?

alwaysane said...

hahaha! that was precious.

GWYNN DUJARDIN said...

Always!

Wonderful to see you. Hope you're well (you're right down the road from me now . . .)

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Your name, me wee lass, seems 2B French, n'est-ce pas, oui?? And Im half Irish. Small world, huh? Seems to be a deplorable world if o'er-the-Hillary won. Nevertheless, lemme fill-you-up withe efficacious epiphany and subliminal epithets of the Great Beyond...

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!!!

Gotta lotta gobba shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

How mucha wanna betcha our irrational, antioxident, hot-shot, full-throttle, pleasure-beyond-measure, fuse-blowin-exploits R a copious madhouse of one lavish bookay D.O.A.? Our proFUSE NRGod who leads U.S. to explosive fairy-tales in the 'one-stop-shop' symphony Upstairs? God's the BigDude, the Owner of ElysianFields, the Grand Prize, the Austere Overdrive, NoPurchaseNecessary: our bombastic tenaCITY on a Hill which'll plant the Seeds 4u2 grow-up to new N greater heights!! Mama mia! Thatsa good pasta!!

CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal-breadcrumm-fabYOUlishousness R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, I had an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant, whorizontal piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist. Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.