Family Life In The Mountains, Raising Children In A Ski Town

Back in the city and the suburbs last year, I often found myself a fly on the wall observing families living a lifestyle I had left over a decade ago that now felt strangely unfamiliar to me. In a ski town, whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall, you will find children and adults alike spending a great deal of their time in the outdoors. It’s like you live in this giant playground and there is no place else that you would rather be.

That is not to say the kids growing up in the mountains do not partake in other activities such as dance, art, drama and of course the often all consuming computer, but the focal point of living in a ski town is generally going to be what lies right outside your front door. I wanted to know while back in my hometown, when did it become so passé for kids to just go outside and play?

Living in a city, a suburb, or a ski town; who’s to say that one way of life is the better choice for a family? Each lifestyle has its pluses and minuses when it comes to what may be considered the best for raising children and your best choices and priorities are truly your own. These thoughts about family and lifestyle started entering my mind when I came across the perspective of a couple raising their children in Jackson on a blog entry from a vacationer in Jackson Hole.

”It was interesting to hear what they value about living in JH. Mimi said they live outside, not inside. That’s why their house is small, but their garage is large, to hold all their outdoors recreation equipment. This emphasis on the outdoors gives their children an interest in nature and conservation. Living in JH also reduces materialism, partially because of the lack of shopping opportunities, but mostly because the residents focus on what people do, not what they own.”

I would have to agree about the difference in focus living in a ski town. I wondered this past year in the city how many times people were going to ask me how I make money, what kind of place do I live in and what plans did I have for my future? Oh how I longed for those free spirited folks back in the place I like to call home simply asking me, “how was your day?”

Different priorities and responsibilities tend to lead us all to the choices we make for ourselves and our families. Balance is the key, at least it is for me, something along the lines of … plan for tomorrow, live for today.

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