My mom, who will most definitely read this, is something of a worrywart. Which makes sense, I had to get it from somewhere, right? Yesterday I’m chatting with her on the phone and she inserts, “I’m really worried about your trip to Mexico.” Of course I knew she was really worried about our trip to Mexico. This is the same mother who, when my purse was found in a ditch in Flagstaff (near a hospital), mobilized the entire Flagstaff police force to find me, all before nine o’clock. Really I had just peed in a ditch on the way home from a bar, a little tipsy, and dropped it there. I expect worry.
What I don’t think she realizes is the amount of control I have to reign over my own worrywart genes. Because here’s the hitch, it isn’t always easy being an adventure couple. She is worried about her daughter going and doing something dangerous and meanwhile, I am actually out there, doing the things, trusting my own body, and all the time worrying about Kyle.
I’m not worrying about Kyle because he can’t handle himself. He is fully competent and sure footed and honest with me about how he feels. I am worried about him simply because I love him so much. It’s a weird feeling. I can’t stand for bad things to happen to him. Yesterday, for example, he admitted that he had forgotten a bowl and a spoon so he had to drink his cold soup out of his little cardboard box. It felt like my heart was breaking. Or there was the time he was on crutches after his meniscus surgery and he was trying to go up some stairs while holding his lunch and he fell, loosing both his lunch and his dignity. Now that I think about it I’m not sure why so many of these examples have to do with him having pathetic lunch experiences.
When we take this all to a mountain you can imagine the implications. Naturally, occasionally, my mind gets away from me and I imagine terrible things happening to Kyle. Him tripping and slipping away from me, out of sight, into a crevasse. An avalanche burying him and I don’t know where to start looking. A storm coming up and loosing him in the white out. When these thoughts rise up I push them back down. I know they aren’t productive. Thinking those things won’t prepare me or make me a better adventure partner, they will just freak me out and distract me.
This, of course, is the paradox of adventuring with your loved one. There is no one you would rather do it with, but by doing it with them they are in harms way. In the end that is what it means to be an adventure couple. I know my mom will never stop worrying, and I know that so long as I go on adventures, neither will I. I tell myself what I tell her: the most dangerous thing any of us does on any given day is get in a car. That usually makes me feel better.
We leave tomorrow for Mexico to climb Pico de Orizaba, so expect a lull in posts for the next week. I’ll be saving stories for when we return.