I am crouched in the camper with my helmet and goggles on, listening to the avy bombs go off, furiously working a hand pump because the electric one draws too much power. The folks at Arc’teryx should know that their garments are just as good repelling breast milk as they are at repelling the elements. I am waiting for our 7-month-old to wake up from her morning nap so I can haul her, 2 blankies, 6 diapers and 8-ounces of freshly-pumped milk to the mountain day care and still be near the front of the lift line when it opens.
This is not a complaint in the least. Just a testimony to the extra dedication it takes to get the goods when you have a baby in tow. But skiing is what we do. Nearly every weekend in fact. Pick up the camper on Thursday night. Pack it on Friday. Drive to the hill Friday night. Ski Saturday and Sunday. Spend 48 hours with two grown-ups, a baby, a golden retriever and all our gear in less than 100 square feet. Drive home.
The first few times we do it, it takes immense effort to inventory, pack and keep track of all the baby essentials we might need while camped in the mountain parking lot. Add to that the general list of gear we normally take with us: Gloves, goggles, extra lenses. Check, check, and check. A case of PBR, cans of soup, oatmeal packets. Got ‘em. Sippy cup, thermometer, Good Night Moon. Sheesh.
You begin to understand why some people drop out for a few years when they have young babies. But our first date was to the mountain. So it makes sense that – for us – having a kid after years of grown-up playtime wouldn’t change what we do.
We find a rhythm as the season progresses. Powder days mean springing for a full day of care. Typical conditions equal a half-day of care. Not-so-sweet days mean we do the hand off in the camper, trying to time feedings and naps with which parent has her.
We used to enjoy apres drinks and a big plate of nachos at the lodge. But now that cash goes to the mountain day care center. On the way home on Sunday afternoon, I gaze at the down-swaddled bundle with the toothless smile nestled in her car seat between us in the cab of the truck. I eat my tuna sandwich and wouldn’t have it any other way.