My house is eerily quiet. Actually a bit unsettling if you ask me. Billy just left for a 4 day canoeing adventure with nine other guys, and didn't even bother to take hand sanitizer. He also didn't shower before leaving, so he's got a good head start on the grime factor. You can imagine how concerned I am about his body's ability to fight off river bacterias such as giardia and cholera, not to mention how tasty he'll smell to the Western slope piranha. Billy says Colorado doesn't have piranhas, but he isn't a native, so he doesn't know that much about our state.
As he headed out of the house, sad about leaving us, I told him we wanted him to "go, and have so much fun. And enjoy nature so much that you come back re-energized for our crazy lives. Also, please don't come home dead. I really couldn't take it". He agreed. Coming home alive is much better. Then I asked him to put out Friday's garbage so I wouldn't have to.
Our house would not run well without a Billy around. He's the first face my kids see in the morning and is always there to listen to them talk about video games or new hair do tutorials as he packs their lunch. He brings me coffee and knows to speak soft and slow as I do not wake up well. He is patient and kind, whereas we are all demanding and crabby. He would walk to the ends of the earth if any one of us asked him to. His whole purpose in life is to serve our family in the best way he can.
Billy is at a turning point in his life. For the last 7 years, he worked in an environment that wasn't always pleasant. He was undervalued at times, and his gifts and talents were not utilized well. We've always been so thankful for that job, as it allowed me to go to Nursing school. Not to mention he was able to work from home those crazy 2 years, being Johnny on the spot for me every single day. So even though it wasn't ideal, it was still a blessing, and we don't take that lightly. At the beginning of 2014, after he fought off pneumonia, he decided it was time to get aggressive and find a new job. I'm happy to report after several long months of interviews and technical assignments, he was hired on at a new job in Boulder. And after his 4 days in a canoe, he will head off to a new job, a new chapter, a new horizon. I am so happy for him.
The kids and I have a lot planned for this weekend, while Billy is off living the Wild at Heart dream. My mom is coming to meet our new little baby girl, and the fun doesn't stop there. Soccer, playdates in the park with Chick fil a, a visit from my aunt and cousin…we are going to fill our weekend up so full that we don't have time to sit around crying over Billy/daddy not making us our coffee/homemade smoothies. Besides, the kids are so excited to see Gramma! And they can't wait to introduce their new little sister to her. We plan on having as much fun as Billy does sitting around the campfire listening to our friend Mark tell stories about when he had to pee in a water bottle in Uganda because the bus wasn't supposed to stop for four more hours. Our stories will be less gritty though, and won't involve as much details of body fluids.
Tonight I will miss my best friend. But I won't be sitting around feeling sorry for myself, because I know he is where he needs to be. A man has to go and be a man sometimes, even if that means he doesn't shower, and comes home smelling like moldy onion. Men need to go on trips where they need a "dry bag", a knife, and some flint for starting a fire. Men need to feel like they can conquer something, even if all it is a river. Men need to know they can survive outside, after all the years of sitting inside working at a computer feeling unappreciated and belittled. This is Billy's time. He gets to conquer and survive with other men who need the same things, even if for different reasons. He gets to float down a river, with majestic scenery on all sides. He will be quiet but he won't be somber. He will be joyful, content, and at peace. He knows he is loved and our arms will be ready to hug his neck the minute he comes home again. After I start washing all his dirty clothes, I'll ask him if he has any signs of flesh eating bacteria, or needs to run over to Urgent care like last time he went camping. And then I will sit and listen to his stories. And quietly I'll say a prayer of thanks that he's home safe, and that for some reason I'll never understand this side of heaven, God gave me a Billy. A very good gift indeed.