Beginning On The Bunny Slope
Our Nozawa ski vacation begins well with a smooth Journey To Residence Yasushi. I secure skis all day everyday but this Mama Bear soon discovers that skiing with kids is hard work. Hence I call it quits by midday and entertain the kids with something easier, like feeding them with good food. Good food & ice-cream are plentiful in Nozawaonsen. And that’s how most of our Nozawa Dream Ski Adventure Gets Devoured.
Regardless, the memories I have of these Nozawa ski bunnies are golden. I am particularly proud of M6 who is mostly in high spirits on this trip which marks with his first encounter with snow. Despite his little legs, he’s often in front of us as we troop off from Residence Yasushi to the Nozawa ski slopes. Confidently, the 3-year-old strides towards the travellator leading to the snow resort where the ski rental is. He loves putting on ski gear and shuffling along the snow. On the bunny slope he laughs as he sails down and that sound is truly music to my ears.
I say he’s mostly in high spirits because occasionally, when he’s hungry or tired, he’s flings himself into the snow and bawls. When that happens, no amount of cajoling can shut it down. Fortunately Mama Bear knows what to do. Take those skis off and get him an ice-cream.
Nozawa Ski Bunny Poses
Although this is not M5’s first time skiing, it has been a couple of years since she skied in Manigod in the French Alps. Predictably, Day 1 with incessant instructions about keeping warm and imitating ducks & pizzas is challenging. Consequently this 6-year-old becomes cross, yells, “I quit!” and storms off to the adjacent bouncy castle. She only returns when Mama Bear tells her she can ski freestyle. Determined, she dries her tears and gives it her best shot. I watch her bravely whoosh down the bunny slope, jacket flying and laugh as she swirls around asking, “So how did I do, Mama?”
Subsequently, when we take the gondola up the mountain, she enjoys it immensely. She marks every successful pitstop with a happy pose, because as part of our bargain, she can ski freestyle. I note with relief that she independently realizes if she careens into other skiers people may get hurt. Hence she decides after all, to remember her lessons, turns smoothly and pizzas to a stop. On the last day, after she successfully makes it down a Nozawa ski trail, she is so exhausted she falls over the moment we reach the hotel lobby. I love this funny bunny.
Mama Bear Steps Up
Now, my 8 year old son, M4, practises doggedly until his coach deems him safe to go to the top of the mountain. We have a grand time together with M3 who is 16 years old. Both M3 & M4 enjoy the ski park where there are designated places to practise jumps & tricks.
On the last day, we get separated because M4 spends too much time following what he believes to be rabbit tracks. Meanwhile M5 plummets down the jungle trail so M3 shoots after her while I look after M4. Initially I’m a little nervous because M4 leads me down all the red slopes and the ice causes us to skid. Regardless, I keep going because M4 joyfully & continually pushes forward. He says to me, “Mama if you are nervous about the steep slopes, don’t worry. Just zig-zag or do a pizza. Do you understand? Zig-zag or pizza!”
Then a funny thing happens. Because I now have to keep up with M4 in order to keep him safe & let’s face it, video that instastory, I suddenly discover newfound balance. When he slips on the ice and falls, I must stop emergently at awkward angles to pull him out of the snow. These manoeuvres require me to engage muscles I don’t usually use. We are both relieved when we make it down the mountain at last, although I am terribly tired. Just as I am about to collapse, M4 beats me to it and crumples into a happy heap. M5 kneels down jokingly beside him and says, “Hello, hello are you ok? I can do CPR!”
The End Of Our Nozawa Ski Vacation
Our Nozawa ski vacation ends too soon. M4 & M5 have just gotten their groove and M6 hasn’t even made it down a mountain yet. However as he sings through Iiyama station and Haneda airport, I know he has had a good time. When we arrive in Changi Airport, I am grateful to be home for Christmas, safe with all my bunnies.