I haven’t been able to hike much during this pregnancy. My body doesn’t do pregnant well.  Nothing severe, but lots of misery, sick, tired… you know the way it goes. I looked on with envy at those active moms who are still hiking and adventuring during their pregnancies while I was throwing up every ten minutes and trying to survive teaching Nature Kindergarten full time while still having any energy left for my own busy four-year-old.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I did what I could, when I could, and felt thankful for the amazing fact that my body is able to make a baby!

At 32 weeks, I’m hardly throwing up at all anymore. When my friend offered to take my big kid for a sleep over, I got to join my husband on a kid-free afternoon hike, and it was glorious.

Little SiI hiked so slowly. Near the top, where we knew there was going to be some serious elevation gain, I sent my husband and his coworker on ahead, and settled into my own pace.

I saw spiderwebs glistening in the sunshine.
I noticed the shapes of the root steps, and the glowing amber of escaping sap.
I marveled at the loaded huckleberry bushes and stopped for many a snack.
I watched a squirrel have a snack too.
I listened to the blood rushing in my ears.
I smelled the smells of the different layers of forests.
I felt at peace in nature.
I felt proud as I stepped off the trail to let other pass.

My body is in the kind of shape you’d expect after six months of serious sickness and growing a new human. I love my body. I love that yesterday, I was able to do it, to challenge myself, to give myself permission to go slowly and enjoy the experience.

Hiking with kids is all about re-framing success criteria. It’s no longer about getting there quickly or keeping up or whatever else. It’s about noticing, wondering, discovery, exploration, whining, learning to persevere through a little discomfort that led the whining, and being in nature with kids. Sometimes it’s about a gummy bear on every switch-back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love hiking with my big kid, but yesterday it was lovely to be just responsible for myself. I am looking forward to this baby getting to grow up in nature and be nurtured by Big Brother, as well as Daddy and me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANatasha is a Nature Kindergarten teacher Seattle, who is taking the next year off to homeschool an adventurous five-year-old while snuggling a new baby.

COMMENT ON ARTICLE

More in

Backyard Camping: An Epic Adventure Right Outside Your Door

This summer, the days have felt especially long. Due to COVID, I find myself saying “no” and “we can’t” a […]

9 Diverse Children’s Nature Books to Add to Your Collection

As parents, focused on being outdoors and immersing our children in nature, we often tend to bring the outside indoors […]