The highlight of last weekend for me was bringing my son to our local ski shop and watching him dash around the store, trying on helmets and navigating his way around in ski boots for the very first time. He just turned three in October, and this will be his first season on skis, a moment I've been anticipating - and yes, dreading - since he was born.
I know nothing about teaching a three-year-old how to ski, not to mention I'm all of a sudden entering a world of magic carpets, frequent hot cocoa breaks, runny noses, and cold complaints. Worst of all, what if he doesn't like it?
That's why I have particular interest this season in January's Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, a national program that offers free skiing lessons to beginners looking to get into the sports. The offer includes a free lift ticket, free lesson, and free rentals for the day at a host of participating resorts throughout New England. Professional instructors and skiing with kids his age will make it for a fun introduction, I presume, which should help lessen my fear that he won't want to pursue the sport.
Offers vary by state and resort, but most run from Jan. 3-9. See site for details.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.