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As a parent, it’s easy to get a little sentimental about those “changing of the guard” kinds of moments, when a child, or your whole family, make that defining leap from one phase to another. A while back I wrote a post called The Last of the Peas , about our youngest using the word “peas” for “please”(one of my favorite cute baby habits) and how I knew this time would quickly pass, and that for me as a mommy, this was my last round of “peas”. It was one of those bittersweet moments, embracing the baby that is still there and the toddler that is evolving, and knowing that in the blink of an eye he will be grabbing the keys and heading off to golf/soccer/baseball practice on his own without me. I had another moment like that this weekend, a time where I felt I both gained and lost something, each just as precious as the other.

Since we have been back in Denver, I was always managing some combination of the two littler ones, while Clark Kent taught our oldest, and then our middle, how to ski. Skiing is in his blood, not mine, so he takes the “coach” role, and I have been the cheerleader at the bottom of the hill, pulling the remaining smallies around on sleds, snuggling them in Baby Bjorns, or staying at home due to nap-times. There were moments when I wished I had been skiing, but watching the older one(s) with their dad while snuggling and cheering with the little one(s) was equally precious time.

Last year’s Little Dude….

So after a small step last week getting the little guy up on skis for a bit on his own, this weekend we took all three kids out onto the mountain–the Little Dude in his harness attached to daddy, and me getting my sea/ski-legs back with Little In the Middle, while Princess Ski-Bunny shuttled in and out of the trees along the edge of the bunny slope, begging off intermittently to go ski bumps on Black Diamonds with her Bapa(show-off!!!).

…and now this year’s Little Dude!

It was the first time that we experienced skiing as a whole family, and it was awesome, but there was also a tiny bit of sadness in my heart as I realized we were putting to bed one era and moving to the next. Watching my brother and sister-in-law’s skiing adventures with their teenage kiddos now feels like a very real glimpse of what our family may look like in a few short years.

Hands down, the best part of the day was watching Little in the Middle follow Princess Ski-Bunny, slalom-style, through a bunch of cones set up by the Ski School. Big sister going slow enough for her younger counter-part to stay close, tapping cones with her poles as she buzzed by, and cheering her sister on. Little sister cutting her turns so close that her skis basically grazed the cones’ sides and yelling “I’m coming!’ And the Little Dude, with skis pointed straight down the hill (no snow-plow here), cheering them on, and every few minutes asking daddy if he’s ready for the lift. A blissful mama moment, to see them all having such a blast with each other…and a side benefit, I didn’t wipe-out. After an almost decade hiatus, I consider that a successful day in my book!

Our whole crew, ready to hit that magic carpet and really go crazy. 😉

I guess I have had my last sled-pulling and baby-snuggling at the base of the mountain, my cheering now geared towards my children as they blow by me, but while I will remember and miss that time with them at their smallest, this new era, where we can all do the same thing at the same time, looks pretty good, too!!

Now if we can just move, QUICKLY, to the phase where I never hear the words “mama, I went poo poo” after I have just gotten a 2.5 year old completely into full ski gear…because that sure is a moment I will happily let pass!!!!