Monday, April 6, 2015

A Whirlwind Winter: The Lightning Kid's Journey on Skis

As we look ahead to warmer spring temperatures, these pages will take one last look back at the frigid winter to tell you what the Lightning Kid has been up to during the frosty interim.  The King and Queen had a vision that the Lightning Kid might be able to adapt to wearing skis; both the kind that let you travel across the country side and the kind that let you zoom down hills.  They knew that performing at Shark Boy’s level (when Shark Boy was also 3 years old) would not be possible, still, any news was good news, and they just wanted to see some progress.

A video posted by Axel Kussmann (@apkussma) on

Whenever they would do Nordic Skiing, the King and Queen would try getting the Lightning Kid to wear his skis, but the littlest prince would quickly grow frustrated.  The most plausible theory was that he would watch his older brother make it look effortless.  Sooner, rather than later, they would pack him in the Chariot that the King would pull behind him. When Shark Boy got tired, he would join the Lightning Kid in the Chariot, which usually began a countdown till the end of the ability to enjoy the outdoors peacefully. Still every moment spent outdoors skiing was worthwhile.

The Royal Parents had also acquired downhill skis, and these were even heavier and harder to use, but they kept their expectations low, and tried to get him used to wearing them in the castle yard, or just about anywhere else they found themselves with some snow. It wasn't always easy getting outside that winter, even for types as hardy as the Royal Family - sometimes they simply had to let common sense prevail and stay within the warmth of the castle.

One of the things the Lightning Kid liked to do best was watch the magical, musical tale of a Princess who became a Queen with magical powers that rendered her land Frozen.  The Lightning Kid had watched the tale so often that he could sing along with all the songs, and imitate the Ice Queen as she built up her ice castle.

In the month of February, the King and Queen packed up the entire family to go to a land further North, meaning it would be even colder and snowier, but they also knew the skiing would be better since there were bigger skills.  The land had often been visited by the King and Queen before they had children, or were even married, but when Shark Boy had arrived they found themselves going less, and with the Lightning Kid even still less than ever before.  They spent the weekend in that land, and while there isn't room in these pages to describe every episode of the eventful epic, you can find out more here and here.  Some of the highlights, include the King and Shark Boy participating in a race with shoes made for the snow and skiing across the countryside of a high ridge overlooking the Bay of George. The Royals also took the Plunge at a swimming pool with slides and other attractions, and had dinner at an establishment that had -as the King and Queen were delighted to see - hired a young man with the same condition as the Lightning Kid.  They went to sleep at their hotel exhausted only for the Lightning Kid to wake up wheezing in the middle of the night.  It was frustrating, because he often seemed to develop these sorts of problems after going swimming, but the King and Queen were reluctant to keep him from having these sorts of fun opportunities. 

The Queen had to drive off in the middle of the night to see an emergency healer, but the healer felt that the problems weren't serious and more likely a reaction to the dust in the couch cushions that they had used for the Lightning Kid's bed; at the time it had seemed safer than putting him up on an elevated bed that he would only roll off of in his sleep.

Though much sleep had been lost that night, the next day was salvageable, and they spent the time trying teaching the boys to ski downhill.  When it was time to make the long ride to their home castle, the wind blew some of the family's skis from the roof of their chariot onto the road, where luckily they were not struck by other travellers on the same road.  As had been mentioned, it was an eventful weekend.

That weekend had rekindled the Queen's love for the Northern town, so she arranged to pay a visit with a friend who was celebrating a birthday.  She left the two princes with the King.  What does a Warrior King left alone with two young hellions do? He runs to his mother of course.  After attending their lessons for ball of foot and dance, the Lightning Kid and Shark Boy (respectively), joined their father on an overnight visit to their grandmother.  They played with games and toys there, enjoyed a visit with Shark Boy's Godfather, and even helped clear the front of her castle of snow.

Shark Boy had joined a group of Beavers to have adventures with children his own age, and on a Saturday, he joined them for a camping expedition, complete with snowshoeing, which he was already an expert at.  The King and Queen wanted to take the Lightning Kid skiing across the countryside, but the King forgot to pack the skis for his Chariot, making it impossible to take the Lightning Kid along.  So the Queen rented snowshoes and they were able to try it too, though the Lightning Kid didn't get too far with his.

In the middle of the month of March, it was time for the Royal Family's spring vacation.  The year before, they had retreated to a Southern clime, but now it was time to put the ski skills to use.  The entire tale of their journey can again, be found on pages beyond these, but some of the highlights can be told here briefly.  The King and Queen experienced some confusion when registering the Lightning Kid for the child care and ski instruction at the resort, where they were at first encouraged to put him in a group lesson with typical children, then they got some resistance to this notion and an adaptive program for children with special needs was recommended only for them to settle on the daytime care-giving option in a separate building (much like his 'school' at home) where they would also teach him to ski with one-on-one instruction and a magic carpet.

Their holiday land also included areas to play with castles made of soft bouncy materials, a swimming pool, a singing pirate who was friends with mouse and a bear, as well as children's parties that allowed adults an evening to themselves - which the King and Queen used to climb a mountain in snowshoes.

On the last day before their departure, the King and Queen wanted to see what their boys were capable of - there would be no more lessons, only skiing as a family of four.  They made their way over to the area where Shark Boy had done some of his lessons and where beginning skiers could practice, which had its own magic carpet ride.  To get there of course, they had to take a flying chair.  The King summoned up all his courage to take the Lightning Kid on such a contraption, but the young prince handled the feat as if he had been doing it his entire life.

The King continued his usual technique of skiing with the Lightning Kid between his legs, while Shark Boy was able to do his own skiing independently by getting on the magic carpet by himself.  When the King and Queen tried to coach the Lightning Kid into standing on his own two skis, he mostly screamed, probably out of a mixture of frustration and fear.  Still, by getting him to touch his knees (a skill he had picked up in the ball of foot lessons) and singing him the Ice Queen's theme song for moral support (and a distraction from the overwhelming emotions), he was able to slide downhill on skis for a good 7-10 feet.

The Royal Family brought their winter vacation to a close with smiles on their faces, and looked forward to the imminent close of winter.


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  2. That looks so fun! Where is this magical kingdom in the snow located?!

  3. One is in Collingwood Ontario, the other is Smuggler's Notch, Vermont (see the links embedded in the story).