Do you ever feel like a moment is so perfect to write about that it almost scares you? This was me, sitting alone in our little condo at the ski resort in Squaw Valley while Avalon slept and everyone else swooshed around the sparkling diamond canvas nature had provided them. There was the kind of music on that you’d hear when a character in a movie is sitting on a hill overlooking a big flower field at dusk, thinking. But I couldn’t write, not completely. Maybe that isn’t what this is about anyways.
I’m reading Anne Lamott’s book Small Victories and one of the most recent chapters I read covers her own slope-style stumbling on the very mountain in the windows before me. She says “I experienced a moment’s confusion, born of hormones, high altitude, and a light snow falling”. This describes perfectly what had come over me a few hours earlier. Anne Lamott fell six feet from a chairlift in her fifties. I fell hard on my left thumb at the end of the first trimester of my second pregnancy. The words that tell that story feel so much smaller than the moment itself; a moment when it dramatically felt like my feelings became the avalanche instead of the snow. And when they all came, picture this as the location for their landing: A chairlift, designed like a limousine, so large there’d need to be mirrors on all sides to see everyone. I was sitting on the left end talking like my every hormone had developed its own voice. Scott was sitting next to me, towards the middle, patting my knee sympathetically. When we got off, however, another man appeared, exiting the lift on the right side of Scott and skiing past us. “Where the F*&% did he come from?” I exclaimed. “He was there the whole time!” Scott laughed. Apparently he and the dude had been exchanging bewildered looks the whole ride. This was enough to snap me back to reality. We snowboarded down the mountain carefully after that, stopping to take in Lake Tahoe, then eating lunch in the village before Scott went back up. I sat the afternoon session and following days out. I surfed during almost my entire pregnancy with Avalon, but I knew I had reached the edge of my comfort zone with snowboarding at 13 weeks with Skip.
Scott’s sister Kristen’s wedding was on Saturday. It snowed. There was a falcon who delivered their rings, like something in Harry Potter. Leon, the groom, thought their marriage now meant he and I were cousins. He gave an amazing speech to kick off a party that so perfectly captured who he and his stunning bride were as a couple: warm, generous with their hearts and always down for an open bar. Kristen wasn’t just stunning because of her long sleeved lace dress and the way her blonde hair curled down her back, but because she is the kind of person you hope to encounter or know at some point in your life.
It snowed four feet that night. It made me think of how Lorelai Gilmore says “Everything’s magical when it snows”.
I never realized how quiet snow is; so different from rain, my mom pointed out, as it covered our feet as we anxiously watched Scott and my dad sweating in 20 degree weather as they packed the suburban for our soon-to-be 12 hour car ride home.
We used a variety of distraction devices for Avalon on this car ride and I will list them since I always tend to be curious about this stuff. That, and because I need Amazon dollars (*joking*, but these are primarily affiliate links). We brought the Eric Carle A Very Busy Coloring Book, these beeswax crayons, these magnets, these stamps +washable, non-toxic stamp pad, eco-dough, dot-art watercolors (remember these?) and this handy tray (unfortunately sold out right now). Truth be told, though, all of this stuff bought us about 15-20 minutes at a time and the real lifesavers were snacks, dancing to La La Land and Raffi, the movie Moana, Daniel Tiger and stopping to run around. I’d honestly do the drive again because a little discomfort never hurt anyone, and all that. Do you have any good road trip go-tos?