Meadows Blog

A Parent's Story

Zeb and Austin Yaklich at Mt. Hood Meadows
There are many things you wonder as a parent. Am I raising my children right, have I instilled the right values in my child, am I truly teaching them what's important, am I keeping them close to nature and are they truly learning the right things from me as a parent?

It's often hard to gauge these questions because we are so entrenched with our day to day routines. We're so close to our children on a daily basis that it becomes difficult to recognize the mile markers but I can tell you that skiing and being on the mountain has given me a realistic glimpse into if I've been teaching my child and if he's been learning.

I've been bringing my son Austin to Mt. Hood Meadows since he was 6 years old he's now on the fringe of 16. I can sense he is truly about to become an adult; only 3 year and he's off to college. Seeing our children grow up is something we dream of but when the time comes we reflect and truly hope we've done right by them and taught them the lessons they'll need to succeed in life. As I look back and see all of the smiles in the pictures from the time he was a  little boy to now, my wife and I feel accomplished in providing him with happy memories and fun times. When I look at him taking his first turns in the the mini halfpipe at Meadows to now watching him jump off cliffs with style and carve perfect powder turns, I realize that he's been learning so much. I didn't think about it when we were on the mountain together but he was listening and watching closely. I see my own riding style in his, sometimes it's almost a reflection. Austin is a better skier then I am now and that makes me proud. I was the one with him on all those stormy days, sunny days and on the most epic of days when we'd take him out of school to go ride Mt Hood Meadow's legendary powder. It's funny how skiing or snowboarding can become a euphemism for teaching your children but parenting is truly a marathon event and they are always listening and learning.

Teaching Austin how to ski was only a small part of his life but seeing the progression with him in this sport assures me that the other lessons in life that we've been working so hard to instill in him have progressed just like his skiing has. If you really want to see your work in action, take the time to teach your son or daughter a sport like skiing or snowboarding. You'll be amazed at how much more you'll learn about your parenting then you ever dreamed.


  1. Sreekanth

    April 9, 2013

    Great post.
    My daughter started taking lessons when she as four and half. She is now six and she is already at the blue level. Thank you meadows.

  2. Eric Schild

    April 10, 2013

    I experienced all that you talked about in both my kids except they started at age 4 and now my daughter is 24 and my son is 27. Both are as passionate about skiing as I am and it shows in their skiing (all terrain and all condition). Skiing will be the link that keeps us close wherever they may go. Proud papa!

  3. Mark Rohden

    April 11, 2013

    Awesome post! This is exactly how I feel about my son who's now 9. Ever since he came along, I envisioned the day we could enjoy skiing together and it's now a reality; he started lessons at age 6 also and still has a lot to learn, but he gets better everytime. Heck, we're going tomorrow! See y'all up there.

  4. Scott Liddle

    April 15, 2013

    You know we're down here in Phoenix, Arizona and the twins and I don't ski but being a friend to my sons in raising them and enjoying their upbringing is what it's all about! You're doing a dang good job in being a dad. When you can do the dad job like that, the others are all easily achieved! Pat on the back brother in every way, shape, and form...

  5. Hoeman

    April 23, 2013

    Touching blog which I definitely relate to. We have 2 boys, now 13 and 12, and skiing during the long NW winters has been therapeutic on multiple levels. It provides exercise and develops reflexes and coordination skills, promotes an acute sense of the natural beauty of Mt Hood, gives us an occasional glimpse of essential vitamin D, but most importantly provides us quality family time devoid of the distractions faced in this modern world. Our routine is pretty simple; we unplug from electronics, ride the quad chairs, dine on a picnic lunch, talk and play cards. The boys are now venturing off with their friends during the day and it's with mixed feelings that I see them off each time, however it makes me feel good to see that we are all making lasting memories (and habits), which I hope will pass down generationally.

    Meadows: Thank you for adding to an already great blog!

  6. Tom Parker

    May 8, 2013

    I started skiing at Meadows when it opened. Every weekend was spent with my family at the mountain and I loved it so much, I eventually became an instructor for a couple of years. One of the best memories I have in 50 years of skiing is heading down Hood River Meadows lift line, before it was installed, in knee deep powder with a bunch of other instructors with snow blowing up over our shoulders it was so light. Even though I now live in the Bay Area, I have loved bringing my wife and kids up to ski a number of times. They have loved it and it allows me to connect my children with my past.

    Meadows: Thank you for sharing your memories. These are the stories that are told around the holiday table for years to come!

  7. cherilyn

    May 9, 2013

    Likewise.... I raised my kids at meadows... working here on/off for 22yrs...Taught them skiing at 3-4, snowboarding at 5-6, they are now 19 and 24 and LOVE shredding meadows with ma and pa... And they love the mountains, and getting out doors.. Definitely the way to stay close to the offspring is to do fun things together.. outside...:-)

    Meadows: Thanks Mom! We hope you had a great Mother's Day!

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