Putting mommyhood on the backburner

Six months of freedom. Awesome right? But is it?

Every parent knows that the love and frustration of having a child goes hand-in-hand. Anyone who says they actually LIKE their child 100% of the time is a downright liar! Or they are dealing with some serious mental instability. But no matter what they do, you can’t stop loving them.

My vivacious, outspoken four-year-old has put me through every emotion I can think of, and even some I didn’t know I was capable of. Just this morning she came into my room all lovey-dovey, wrapped her arms around me and told me how much she “loves my mommy.” A few hours later, right before I started writing this, she called me a Poop Nose Cat Face Turd Nugget and slammed her door after I refused to let her put sprinkles on her raspberries.

A story for her wedding:

Last night while we were sitting in bed watching a movie, she sits up and says “I actually peed on the porch.”

“Whaaaaaa?” Is all I could manage to say while searching my brain for an appropriate reaction.

I had seen the pee earlier in the day, when SHE pointed it out. I assumed it was Max… our Silky. We have two dogs, one of which has a small bladder and occasionally pees on the porch when I leave the door open. He’s a dog. Dogs sometimes do that. I don’t get mad because he’s not peeing on my rugs.

Paityn is not a dog. She is a highly potty-trained child who can wipe her own butt. We also live in a small ranch-style house. There are no stairs to get to the bathroom. There are no rivers to cross or mountains to go over to get to a modern, functioning toilet. We also have two of them. She had TWO options. She chose option number three.

These are the moments when I’m ready to start hiking.

A girl and her dog

A girl and her dog

Someone asked me the other day how I’m going to leave her for six months. It’s definitely not easy, but that’s our life. I’m one for four when it comes to birthdays… the day I had her being the only one I’ve actually attended. Eventually she’ll know her birthday is NOT in November! I never fully unpack her suitcase and if we’re home for more than a week, she asks where we’re going next. It’s far from traditional, but it works for us.

This isn’t the first time I’ve left her for six straight months, but it’s much different knowing I’m definitely coming home. In 2012 I deployed to “Southeast Asia” (as the military likes to call it). In response to some of my stressing out about hiking, my partner from that deployment, Alex, sent this in a text today…

“It’s like a deployment but guess what no one is trying to kill Ya :)”

She would know since the poor girl was forced to spend nearly every waking, showering, eating, working moment with my goofy ass. In six months we never argued. I don’t know how, but we didn’t. We did get close once though! I’m a morning person. An annoying, bubbly morning person. Alex is not. Our near argument went as follows…

One morning at 5 am…

Me (standing at eye level with the top bunk Alex slept so soundly on) “Good morning Sunshine!!!”

Alex “I really hate it when you do that.”

Me: “Crap, sorry.” Off to the gym I go

The next morning at 5 am…

Me (from my bunk this time) “Good morning Sunshiiiiiiiii… crap, you hate it when I do that.”

Alex & I in Kabul 2012

Alex & I in Kabul 2012

And that was it! Ok, now I’ve completely digressed…. focus woman, focus!

So, back to my minion. I’m not deploying, I’m hiking. I’m not going into a war zone, just a place with some likely strange people and a few wildlife dangers. This is cake. One day Paityn will be able to say “My mommy thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, she’s pretty much a bad ass.” And when she graduates High School, we’ll do it together. SOBO instead, or maybe we’ll conquer the CDT or PCT. Whatever it is, it’ll be epic. I just wish she could do this with me now!

Leaving her is the hardest part of this next chapter in my life. Please start preparing your pep-talks now… I will be seeking them out over the next few months. You have been warned :).

Paityn & I exploring on a rainy day

Paityn & I exploring on a rainy day


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Comments 2

  • Denise : Mar 14th

    Your showing Paityn how a woman can be brave, adventurous, strong and your own Person… Great Example in my book. Also a Warrior… 🙂

  • Paisley Latham : Mar 17th

    So brave and amazing. You’re giving your daughter so much to up too! Wishing strength your way! and who knows, you may even finish sooner!


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