Every Saturday night during snowboard season, I try to convince the gang of teenagers at my house that they should go to bed at a decent hour since we get up very early to get to the ski slopes. They are always horrified at this kind of talk. "But it’s not a school night!"
"Remember," I always say to them, "snowboarding tired is like snowboarding drunk."
None of my children worry much about snowboard injuries, but I do. When I look down from the chairlift and see the ski patrol in their bright red outfits go by with an injured person on the red toboggan, I strain to see what colour coat the injured person is wearing, to make sure nothing has happened to one of my gang. I don't want my fears to prevent my children from enjoying sports like snowboarding, but I make them take precautions. They wear helmets, they take lessons for the first few years, and I try to make sure they don't snowboard when they are overtired.
I tell them that more snowboarding injuries happen when you are tired. And I have statistics to back that up. Most injuries happen on the last run of the day. The kids scoff at this information. Boy in Black explained to me patiently, "Of course, the injury happens on the last run of the day. Because once you've got a broken wrist, you aren't likely to take another run."
Boy in Black has seen injuries – as one of the more expert boarders in the terrain park, he will race down to call ski patrol when something happens. And he is a good role model who makes the younger kids wear their helmets and obey safety rules. But he also led the gang in teasing me about my fears. They are obligated to tease me because they are teenagers, and teasing Mom is what teenagers do best. During every lunch at the ski lodge, I heard my words repeated back to me, with all of them chiming in at the end. "Snowboarding tired is like ... SNOWBOARDING DRUNK."
Sweet Funny Extra, a high school senior who sometimes joined us for lunch, mocked the comparison. "Yeah, being overtired is just exactly like being drunk. I didn't get much sleep the other night, and I was overtired, and next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor in a pool of vomit, with some naked girl next to me, wondering where I was."
Then he shook his head, "All because I was overtired."