April 17, 2015 § 3 Comments
Very pleased to report the publication of my narrative essay, “Extreme Parenting,” at Bloom. I’ve long admired Bloom, which is associated with The Millions and is dedicated to the work of writers whose first novels have been published after the age of forty, so it’s a great honor to appear there. The essay had its genesis in an “extreme” ski trip I took with my son and some friends a few years back. Here’s an excerpt:
I wasn’t worried for my own safety, but I was frightened on behalf of my 13-year-old son. The truth is, I hadn’t fully appreciated the difficulty of the spot I’d gotten us into. Below us, a knotted climbing rope disappeared into a narrow chute that was the only way down through a two hundred foot cliff band. There was no question of climbing back up; we’d skied fifteen hundred vertical feet of steep powder to get here, and this was the heart of avalanche country. Our guide was irrevocably out of sight, having painstakingly lowered himself and Joe, my son’s ski buddy, down the climbing rope to arrive at what was presumably safer terrain beneath the cliff band.
So here we were. Early this morning eight of us had strapped on avalanche beacons and packs with shovels and rescue probes and voluntarily entered the most extreme and dangerous lift-served terrain on the continent. My son Toby was next in line, then Brad, a new friend, then it was my turn. I’d been watching Toby, and I could tell from pallor of his face beneath the helmet and goggles that he was scared to death. Not that he would ever admit as much, but I could see it.
“Brad. Do you mind if we switch places?”
Read the rest of the piece here.