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Welcome to my final SnoRules column of this season. Next month I’ll be back to writing about motorcycles in my MotorMouth
column but while we still have some decent weather for cutting turns, let’s keep the focus on skiing and boarding while we
are still able to…

Birthdays can be funny things… Some people love to celebrate them and others choose to play them down. Some use them
as an excuse to get special treatment for a day and still others, though they may enjoy the attention, stay on task and
focused on the important things in life, like their job or school. The last type is not the behavior I would expect from an eleven
year old kid but what the hell do I know?!

Case in point, my son Nicholas who is in fifth grade now, (probably the last year of his life when I am still able to sign
him out from school for no legit reason without too much blowback from administration) just celebrated his 11th birthday
last month. I suggested we go out to my column sponsor Ski Shawnee for the day. He was totally on board since we love
skiing together but he did have one request: “Dad, can I go to school in the morning because I have a math test that I don’t
want to miss?” Surprised but impressed with his passion for learning, I of course conceded and agreed to pick him up at 10am instead after his test. We drove out to Shawnee and thanks to Kevin Adams we were hooked up with a couple of lift tickets (sponsorship does indeed have its perks! lol). One super ironic thing has to do with Shawnee’s word of the day which appears on all of their lift tickets and changes of course, daily. I am sure there is a method to that, (probably so the lift operators can tell if
a ticket has been forged or not) but that particular day the word happened to be BIRTHDAY. (see pic of lift ticket).

Nick and I got in about a dozen runs and then broke for lunch. Next to the fire in the base lodge he looked at me and asked, “Dad, do you think we could make it back to my school in time for me to attend social studies class and gym?” I was like, “Are you kidding me? Wouldn’t you want to enjoy the day on the snow with very short lift lines, etc…?” His response? “Well, we are doing
something interesting in social studies and the game we’ll play in gym only happens once a year.” Impressed by this
request, I of course agreed and soon enough we were on our way back to his school.

On the ride back he had one last query. “Dad, some of the kids are going to make fun of me because I am coming
back to school on my birthday after getting signed out. What should I say to them?” My response? Just tell them “You know guys… (and make sure you pause here for dramatic effect) I guess I just really love learning.” Man do I love this kid!

Ski and board well and safely my friends. Until next season… Ski Ya!

MN Magazine

MN Magazine

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