Just back from skiing with the kids in France, where I caused a bit of a stir.
It wasn't my table manners, or my Eighties-style ski attire, but that they rumbled my guilty secret: I ski with my children. It's actually worse even than that. My kids are ski-school refusniks, and they don't care who knows it – which is more than a little embarrassing. Any family who has taken a ski holiday will know the unwritten rule: you don't actually ski together. It's practically the law.
I can see the advantage of this, but the kids can't. They tried ski school once and have never gone back. So, we stick together and brave the incredulous looks and funny comments. And, I never thought I'd say this, but it has been worth it because we've actually learnt something together. We've been on a family journey.
We've made our skis into pizza slices and chips, and bent our bodies like bananas to please instructors. We've skied on one leg, pushed from our knees, skied backwards, sideways and upside down (though not intentionally) – and we've carved up the mountain.
OK, the kids have improved every year and I've got worse. But I've had the benefit of watching them grow up on the mountain and it's been hugely enjoyable, and this year brought the moment I'd been waiting for. After years of lugging around their equipment, my children now carry my skis for me at the end of a hard day – much to the envy of the other guests. Sometimes it pays to stick with the kids.