If the X Games has taught us anything, it’s that even snowmobiles can do 360-degree flips in the air.
Without bursting into flame.
Try that on the interstate during a blizzard and suddenly it’s “frowned upon” by local law enforcement.
...We gotta get a snowmobile.
My 7-year-old son watched the snowmobilers streak down the modified ski jump, take off high into the air, flip near the top of the arc in their flight, perform a full layout then land with a hard bounce on the icy packed slope.
A fist pump from the athlete answers cheers from the crowd below, who wave brightly colored flags and sport large foam fingers, an ode to craziness everywhere.
“Don’t even think about,” I warned my son.
“Too late,” he answered, eyes glued to the television. “I’m already lining up my sponsors.”
God help us all.
For two solid days, he’d been taking in all the X Games action. Two days of extreme winter sport action involving snowboarding, skiing and snowmobile racing. Two days of cornrowed, tattooed daredevils sporting nose rings who gracefully flew through the sky as if they had wings.
And those were just the girls.
“Hey, Mom!” my son called out from his spot in front of the television. “I know what kind of Valentine’s Day box I want to make.”
OK. Shift in focus here.
Try to keep up.
It’s safe to say that while girls still have cooties, this second grader thinks Valentine’s Day rocks.
But only because of the class party, candy, games, candy, making a special box for Valentines and more candy.
Give him a couple more years and even chocolate won’t keep the night terrors away.
“And what kind of box is that?” I asked, silently praying it didn’t involve high-end explosives or a live chicken.
Because we’ve been there, done that.
“A snowboarder!” he answered with excitement.
Whew. That rules out barnyard animals and a visit from Homeland Security.
It went bad fast.
“What in the heck are you doing in here?” my husband asked, walking into the office an hour later.
I sat on the floor with a large piece of foam board in front of me. Small pieces of white fluff covered my shirt, and I clutched an X-acto knife in one fist.
And I was thisclose to a stroke.
“SONOFAB----!” I screamed in frustration.
And upon that explicative, I lost further ability to speak.
So it was up to my son to answer the question. “She’s trying to cut out a snowboarder for the top of my Valentine’s Day box,” he said. “...And...uh...it’s not going so well.”
I rolled my eyes.
My husband asked me, “What’s the problem?”
I tossed the slim knife into a nearby plant and answered, “That stupid thing. It’s not big enough to cut the foam board. The blade keeps breaking off and the board won’t cut and the stuff is shedding everywhere!” I paused. “Stupid piece of ----.”
I suddenly found a large hand firmly placed over my mouth and heard a “small ears” whispered into my ear.
I rolled my eyes.
Then I heard a chuckle. My husband asked, “Did you try a box cutter?”
“We have one of those?” I asked, my frustration at the puny knife all but forgotten in the face of the chance to use a real-life box cutter.
Potential ER visit aside, it does have its uses.
An hour later, my son was the proud owner of one X Games snowboarder Valentine’s Day box with snowflake covered tissue paper and one awesome snowboard.
Complete with sponsorships he had colored in cute little magic marker.
But upon further inspection....
“Uh, kiddo,” I started, pointing at one colorful label. “You’re too young to have Coors as a sponsor, and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna guarantee a visit to the principal’s office.”
Without missing a beat, he said, “OK. But can I get a nose ring instead?”
God help us all.
Please note: This column was written prior to the death of Caleb Moore, a young man who died from injuries sustained from a snowmobile accident in the X Games in 2013. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. May he now soar with the angels.