Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Sledding Fun for Son, Pain for Dad

My son, who is so afraid of many things, is not afraid of slides, not even a 2,000 foot Alpine Slide. So, it should not be any surprise that Kai also loves going sledding. In fact, we even went sledding last week!

You see, last winter, while I was researching which sled to get him, I found one that actually works in the summer as well as in the winter. In the winter, it works just like any other sled. But, in the summer, you freeze two blocks of ice onto brackets that attach to the bottom of this special sled. The ice enables the sled to slide down a grassy hill, and you can actually go pretty fast.

The first time we used the sled was on one of the hottest days of the summer, a 95-degree day. The skeptical among you may be wondering whether the ice will last long enough on a 95-degree day, or whether it would melt too quickly. Trust me when I say that it could not melt fast enough.

The idea of summer sledding is very exciting. The reality is very exhausting. On every run, I gave Kai a nice push, and then ran down the hill after him. He got to enjoy fun rides down, but, as the sled is pretty heavy with the two large blocks of ice attached, it was my job to lug it back up to the top again. After only the third time climbing up the hill with all that weight in the insufferable heat, I thought I was going to pass out.

My son, on the other hand, was having the time of his life. The boy who wanted to quit soccer after just a few minutes could not get enough of this summer sledding. Over and over, he said, “Let’s do it again, Daddy!” I never saw so much energy out of the little guy.

I could not refuse something that made him so happy so I kept dragging that sled up the hill and running down after him. It was a scientific miracle that the blocks of ice actually got heavier as they melted, and weighed about a ton each just before they had finally melted too much to continue. I silently gave thanks that the ice melted in time to spare my life.

When we went sledding again last week, it wasn’t nearly as hot. Climbing up the hill didn’t seem nearly so oppressive with the temps almost 30 degrees cooler. It was actually pleasant and Kai even let me have a few turns on the sled.

On one of my rides, the sled skidded sideways, hit a bump, and flipped over. I landed awkwardly on my side and immediately felt a sharp pain. Kai thought it was hysterically funny as he came running over to me while I was moaning in pain on the ground. I managed to get to my feet before he could jump on top of me.

We did several more runs but I later ended up going to the ER. Though x-rays showed no broken bones, I still feel that pain every time I sneeze.

Kai wants to go sledding again very soon. I wonder what excruciating experience will be next. But, I know that as long as he wants to go, I will be there with him.


  1. Hi there! I saw you on my followers list and had to come over and meet you! Kai is a cutie! This was such a fun post...I've never heard of summer sledding! Sorry you're all banged up...the things we do for our kids, huh!

    I'd love to keep in touch!

  2. First, you are an amazing man and a fantastic dad. Love is self-sacrifice to meet another's need, and there you are.

    Second, summer sledding... what a concept! Sounds very cool and hilarious. Thanks for sharing your story, your son, and your heart.



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