Posts tagged ‘Grand Canyon’
He’s back, he’s fine, C is delirious, and all is well with the world tonight.
I’ve been a single parent for the last couple of weeks, as Husband has enjoyed his 15 years-in-the-waiting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. I used to love it B.C. (before C) when Husband would go out of town; I’d eat cereal in bed, stay up late reading, and watch chick flicks. Since C’s birth, however, I have enjoyed Husband’s trip less and less. The bed is too big, the house is too quiet, and things just don’t feel right.
This particular trip, one I ultimately declined to join (see here), has been challenging. C is at a tiring age (when is a restful age?), which leaves us zapped on a good day. Having all these days by myself is an exercise in new zapped heights. The worst, however, is the complete lack of communication available. Other than one phone call from Phantom Ranch (the only place on the canyon floor with a landline) on day 6 (well over a week ago now) of the trip, there is no way to have contact. C hasn’t said much, but the extra hugs and snuggles required throughout the days, especially at bedtime, have said it all.
You can therefore imagine my despair at hearing the news that there has been a massive flood in one of the side canyons. After some initial panic, and quickly finding something else for C to do, I devoured any internet information I could find. I have it in my head Husband is probably okay. I found an emergency contact number for the park service and talked to a ranger who said he’s not on the list of people who have been evacuated. As lovely and pleasant and calming as she was, I couldn’t help but wonder why the concern about people who are evacuated; it’s the un-evacuated I’m worried about. Having his name on a list of evacuees would be just fine with me, thank you very much.
I’ve been fielding calls all evening from folks whose spouses are with Husband’s trip and others who know Husband is on a trip. Probably, Husband is sound asleep, in a haze of post paddling exhaustion. Couple that with a bit of the good tequila they took and a beer or two, and he’s likely off in la-la land and will later chuckle at the concern of those of us topside.
Husband (and I, but it’s really him as he’s been on the wait-list longer than I’ve known him) has a permit to raft the Grand Canyon this summer. A 16 day trip, it’s the adventure of a lifetime that will possibly only come along (for me) once in a lifetime.
But I’m not going.
I used to consider myself fearless; driving off in my jeep with a tankful of gas, a cooler of food, and a USGS survey map in search of adventure in the Colorado mountains – without telling anyone where I was going or when I’d be back – was my idea of a good time. Idly wandering around Europe by myself without an agenda or any idea where I’d sleep for the night brought not fear, but a sense of excitement. Hanging out doing research in deserted graveyards in downtown San Antonio, where there were more drug deals than funerals, gave me a thrill instead of the heebie jeebies. But now I have fear. Fear of the very big, very cold water in the Colorado River, and fear of hiking out alone partway through the trip in well over 100 degree heat. But most of all, I have fear of leaving this child with one less person in his world.
Being a parent, and more specifically being a parent to this child, makes me less likely to take risks. He has wonderful godparents who would manage beautifully his raising if both Husband and I died, but to potentially leave him parentless is not something I’m going to go out of my way to risk. My priorities have changed, and that’s actually okay with me. It probably seems boring, and I know Husband is disappointed, but I just can’t do it. I don’t really feel sad or regretful about it (well, maybe a tiny bit); it just is what it is.