When February’s snowstorm dropped record inches on the city, my neighborhood’s ad hoc extreme sports league sprang into action. A steep stretch of Cherry Street, where it leaves the city grid and tumbles down the hillside toward Lake Washington, became an Olympic-caliber ski run, complete with a carefully sculpted jump at the bottom. My seven-year-old son was intrigued enough to strap on his helmet, clutch his sled, and peer down from the top. Ultimately, he deemed it too scary. And so I faced his fears for him. Quite literally, by launching myself headfirst down the slope on his sled by way of example.

I hung on, muttering profanities, for two high-speed blocks, then bailed by rolling ungracefully off the side for fear of catastrophic injury. The bruises on the right side of my butt lasted for days, but the respect in my son’s eyes gratifies me still.

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