You will not be surprised that I ended up waiting at the ski lodge while The Departed finished his day of skiing: He had driven us all there in his car, so I could argue all afternoon, then leave, or sit and wait, then leave, and waiting was the less exhausting choice. The little girls played in the snow, The Departed and his son skied the black diamond, and I sat alone in the lodge, wishing I had a book to distract myself from the image playing over and over in my mind, of The Child, tiny and alone on the high-speed chairlift.
The next weekend, The Departed wants to go skiing; I refuse. I assume that since I’m not going, The Child won’t want to go either, but she opts to go with him.
It was an accident, she says.
By the time they arrive home that evening, I am once again filled with relief and rage, only this time it is rage that I have to take this away from her, because I cannot trust him with her safety.
If I could not protect her when I was just a few feet away, I certainly could not protect her from miles away.
The next day, he regales me with tales of what a superb skier his son is, and by the end of the conversation, I’ve somehow offered to give the boy my K2 skis.
It only makes sense, says The Departed, since I don’t enjoy skiing.