And then as I was just about to be asleep she woke up. Who wants to be hearing a screaming baby in the middle of the night in the woods? People are going to be so mad at me. As I sat there and tried to calm her down I panicked. Why am I here? Do I love the outdoors enough to do this? What if I just give up? Now, how am I going to have the energy to go hiking tomorrow? This is terrible it's almost 3am already. Should I pack up and leave? I'm so frustrated!!!!!
This was one night I will always remember. I didn't get any sleep that night and my baby girl didn't either but at the least she stopped crying. It wasn't a good night and that was only one of them that summer. What did I ended up doing? I stayed. I even went on a pretty difficult hike the next day. I had coffee, lots of strong coffee. But mostly, I survived.
In the past, I got a few comments and private messages asking me how I did it and how I still do it? But mostly people look at my pictures and assumes that my girl is easy to camp with and that since we make it look so easy, it must be, for us anyway. But the truth about being an outdoor parent is that it is NOTHING but easy. It wasn't then and it still isn't.
But then again, as I have mentioned before in other posts, I'm sure your child or children cries at home, at the store, at the park....we are talking about children, right?. There is and there will always be tantrums. It's not going to end, and it will happen whether you are in the comfort of your own home or in the outdoors.
It was wonderful, it was beautiful, the scenery was remarkable and I got to spend it with my adorable girl. And then it happened. We were on our second day, a long day, when she started crying. I asked her why. I asked her if she was okay. Is she hurt? Sweety, you need to stop crying. Do you need a break? Are you hungry? Are you tired? The answer to all my questions was NO. People passed us. People asked if we needed help. some gave me the disapproval look, some smile with comprehension. It lasted a long time. We stopped. We walked. Nothing I did made her feel better. I stayed calm but felt confused. And for the first time in a very long time I asked myself "Why?"
Why would I do this? Why do I bring my child? WHY!
Later on that evening after setting our tent up and and hanging our food I entered my tent and cried.
For the first time in probably more then 3 years of camping I cried. I cried and couldn't stop.
My girl came into the tent and open her arms to me and said "Mom, don't cry but its okay if you do. I love you"
Our trip got better again, she told me it wasn't because she was tired or because she was sad. I just cried "because" she said.
Our trip now has a different meaning to me. Not only do I some days carry way too much on my back, not only do I have to care for 2 people on the trail instead of just myself but I have proved to myself that its okay. Its okay for people to see my weak side sometimes. It isn't easy for anyone out there. And I hope that you remember that all those hard days you have will not only make you stronger but it makes you human. And don't be scared. Those days are also some of the days I cherish the most in the end. I will never forget the time me and my daughter cried together "just because".