A long time ago I promised to take my daughter to Mount Everest when she turned 16. At the time she was maybe 10. I suppose it never felt like 16 would actually arrive. She turns 16 in June. We are not going to Everest this year. I have broken my promise. We are not going for many reasons, the primary one being money. Secondary would be the unbelievable political unrest in Katmandu and surrounding areas. I could not take my child there – where the streets are patrolled by people with guns, all businesses are shut down and even the phones are not working. Thank god I can’t afford it right now.

When she turns 18, we will visit REI, buy crazy amounts of winter-type clothing and sleeping bags, and a tents. And then we will hop on a plane for weeks of eye opening, mind boggling exposure to the most amazing mountain and culture ever. And we will battle our internal desire to climb “just a little bit higher” than we planned.

I have wanted to climb Everest for a very long time. If I didn’t have a family – if I had managed to remain single my whole life and didn’t have children or a husband – I think that I would have already done this dangerous, scary thing. It is such a sensational feat to climb that high and survive such risk. I cannot imagine the wonderful sense of accomplishment to be able to summit and live to tell the story. Yet I cannot imagine at this stage of my life ever wanting to do such a thing. It is such a huge risk full of very real danger. I could never take myself that close to losing my family or this wonderful life that I have.

So I will go to base camp. I will look at the huge mountain ahead and I will dream about what it is like to face such a challenge and succeed.