John F. Russell: Trying to relive my childhood in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — I’m not too proud so I will admit that I’m more than a little jealous of my children.
Not because they are growing up in a world where the Internet can answer any question, where they think social media is the best place to connect with friends, and those long, lazy days of summer have been consumed by organized sports and jam-packed schedules.
I’m jealous because they are growing up in a town like Steamboat Springs.
It’s a place where the slopes of Steamboat Ski Area are in the middle of their backyard, a place where the community embraces everything they do from sports to 4-H and they get to grow up with a small-town mentality with a big-time identity.
As a child growing up in Denver, I thought I had it made. My parents’ home backed up to a park where I spent a ton of time with my two best friends who lived right across the street from me.
We spent our days playing pick-up baseball games at the fields that were just down the street, we played football in the park behind my parents home and there was no problem playing street hockey on the suburban road in front of my parents’ home. We never had to worry about traffic, and if a car did happen by, it only took a moment to pull the goal to the side of the road until the car passed.
It seemed perfect. Well, at least it seemed that way until I had children of my own and decided to raise them in paradise.
The number of opportunities in Steamboat Springs is mind-numbing, and the children in Steamboat seem to take advantage of it all.
They can ski every day of the week with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and the children in our mountain town have proved that the dream of becoming an Olympic athlete can easily become a reality for those willing to chase that dream.
Neither of my children skis competitively, but that hasn’t stopped them from enjoying all that this town has to offer.
In the winter, they ski most every weekend, and in the summer, their days are filled with soccer, tennis and a wide range of other activities.
The truth is that there is so much to do in Steamboat Springs that children are forced to make choices.
In my day, summer days were long and boring. These days, there’s never enough time in the day for my children to do all that offers.
So like most parents in Steamboat, I’m jealous. So I’ve decided they only way to overcome my jealously is to make an attempt to do as much as possible with my children. I’m not alone in that, and that’s another reason Steamboat is such a great place to raise children.
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