Story by Sammi Johnson
Tis the season to cast some yearly mandates and resolutions out into the universe with hopes they get fulfilled, or at least are still being considered by February.

I resolve to ski more and read a book a month. These are my basic New Year’s resolutions every year.

I love skiing and reading and most years I don’t feel like I’ve done either enough.

It’s not just me who loves skiing; so does my husband. And sliding downhill (he snowboards) initially sparked our connection 12 years ago. We’ve matured into adults with a serious skiing addiction and continue to resolve to ski more, be outside more and introduce this winter outdoor life, with grace, to our young guns.

To be honest, we’d love it if they had happily picked up the skiing habit, too. That would be just great if we could guilt-free ski with the kiddos early, as a family gathering. Best laid plans…

I grew up skiing; no really, the ski hill acted as my babysitter. My mom still works at our local hill’s rental shop after 28 years, and my sister and I learned basically everything we know about skiing by spending every winter weekend on the mountain. It came with ups and downs. Naturally, I went through a few years of resentment of early weekend mornings and grumblings of what I’d rather be doing with my friends. But now that lifestyle is engrained into our lives.

We had to go to the ski hill. There was no choice. And while there, I figured out how to ski and ended up loving it.  Can I force my kids into a lifestyle choice we love, but they may loathe?

We don’t push them outright (I don’t want to be those parents), but we feel it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

So we’ve asked our children to embrace skiing at an early age, and it’s not going that well. Ski lessons are out. My oldest is petrified of new social situations and dislikes putting on ski boots. The little one mimics what his sister does in lockstep.

How much do you push your kids to liking what we like? I venture on the side of a lot. My oldest child has the ability to ski but chooses to act like a limp noodle for the two required runs on Chair 6 before it’s hot chocolate time. Whereas children half her age are skiing black diamonds off of Chair 1. Not that I’m comparing, but I’m studying whether she is just being stubborn or just dislikes skiing that much.

No one ever gets to tears – one run and done is the norm. And it appears we’ll have to bring books (check off the yearly reading requirement), toys and the iPad to the base lodge while Mom and Dad take turns venturing up the mountain. Guilt free. Kids seem happy; parents are happy. It’s a partial success.

In my dreams, we’ll be four-deep on the quad chair playfully arguing about what run we should ski next.

Sammi is a mother, wife, business owner and marketing director at the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell. Contact her at