Today was a day of lost hours. First, losing an hour because of the time change. Luckily, modern technology being what it is, clocks advanced on their own and I was able to rouse the kids this morning at the new time.
This morning, despite the crunch time, I'd planned to pack out of our little respite in the mountains, ski until mid-afternoon, then change clothes and make the painful drive home, hopefully in time to beat traffic. But another lost hour intervened first...in the afternoon, I skiied with all 3 kids, and once again, we got split up because of Julian. We got split up on the long approach to the lift, and I knew we hadn't passed him or any crash, but when Gabriel and Katrina and I arrived at the lift, no Julian. We waited about 5 minutes, but I knew he wasn't behind us. Where was he?! Again?! Finally I said, "screw this!" and went up the lift with Gabriel and Katrina anyway.
Distracted, I took Katrina on the last, and hardest run, of the day anyway, that she practically insisted on. This was "East Face," which Sugarbowl inexplicably has two runs named this, but this one was the easier groomer off the Mt Disney lift. Groomed, but steep and decently long for a single run. This is by far the hardest run Katrina has done, and while she was scared and needed a little encouragement, all those lessons kicked in and she knew what to do. She wasn't happy at times, but we had no emergencies and she was in control the whole time. Good for her!
But I was distracted and annoyed at missing Julian again. No more fun, we had to find him! I got us on another lift to return to the base, then on the lift, thought that we should go back to check the lift where Julian was supposed to meet us. This was really painful, Katrina was tired and very slow pushing on the various flat spots we had to traverse to get there. I was extremely irritated that once again, our afternoon fun was clouded by Julian's irresponsibility.
Turns out, Julian was at the lift, and had been all along, but when we first looked for him, he'd waited so far off to the side that we didn't see him, and he wasn't looking out for us. Usually he waits right in the lift line, not way off to the side, invisible amidst other people and not paying attention for us.
I was livid at this foolishness, it put a serious damper in the afternoon for all of us. I was too mad to even talk to him about it. And why bother? It's futile, he just doesn't care. This wasn't his only mistake, he's impossible all day long. When it comes time to put skis away, change out of ski boots and not throw snow in front of a busy lodge entrance or inside the lodge, he acts like he's never ever heard of the rules, and consistently breaks them. I'm just not taking him on any more ski trips for a while. Regrettable, because he likes it and he's pretty good at it. In fact, in his morning lesson today, he did his first double-black and was very proud of it.
The search for Julian accounted for another lost hour today. Then, on the drive home, we lost another hour at a massive backup on the main Interstate due to an accident. It was fun navigating around it on small roads and through little towns, but even past the accident, the traffic was still very very slow. We hit more stop-n-go at various highway lane-losses, plus a much slower than usual dinner at Denny's, then another delay because of a gushing bloody nose of Katrina. 6 hours of a horrific drive, we arrived home from Truckee. I was totally fried, hurried kids into bed, then gathered my remaining strength to unpack the car and prepare the kids' things for school the next day.
The ultimate indignity was having to set clocks forward after all this. Oh, what I wouldn't do for another hour today!
Lots of people manage "weekend" ski trips, but this wasn't the way. Still, the reasons I pushed it paid off: we happened to hit a terrific snow weekend, and all of us really drilled in our skills. But I'm very frustrated with the difficulty of handling Julian and Katrina at the same time; Katrina is still just 6 years old and can still get into day-ending snits. Julian.....well, there's just no explaining him. Gabriel is no problem, he's great to ski with and even likes to stick with me and Katrina while Julian is off getting lost somewhere. Gabriel even loaded all our skis on the car-rack by himself, without even being asked.
Seems too early for ski season to end, but even if this was it, it was a fantastic one. Gabriel and I really advanced together, Julian made tremendous strides (in ability, not in responsibility). And Katrina...wow. She went from spending the whole day on a Magic Carpet to skiing down non-intro black-diamonds (at least in snow, not ice, that changes everything). Winter and snow season is WAY too short!