Steve and I were sitting in the family room the other night, after the kids went to sleep. I am sure we were enjoying the taste of the season:
I am not sure what got Steve thinking, but all the sudden he looked over to me and said "you know, our kids won't have a Christmas tradition."
When you think about your childhood, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were repeats of the previous year...and you wouldn't have it any other way. You longed for the same things; we are creatures of habit, after all. These repeats turn into traditions, and these traditions live with you for a lifetime.
Well, we are going to have it another way...at least for now.
My latest motto when it comes to all things aviation is: "expect the worst, but hope for the best." This time of the year, it means that you expect your husband to be working on Holidays, but if you get lucky you will have him home. Steve is junior, which means that we expect him working every Holiday, including Christmas.
I was born to Polish immigrants. Christmas was always a religious holiday to us, with emphasis on traditions around Christmas Eve dinner and church, and a couple presents thrown in. Steve, on the other hand, had emphasis on Santa, the magic of Christmas, and presents. Steve and I, together, meld the best of both worlds...
But wait a second here, how can we do this whole Christmas tradition thing when Steve isn't even going to be home this year.
This is a perfect example of "whoa is me" with this whole airline pilot lifestyle. Yes, I am optimistic and the glass is always half full, but it still just sucks that Steve isn't going to be with us. Ben is right at the age where he totally believes in the magic of Christmas, and it is so sweet to see. Of course, I am going to do my best at trying to dance around the fact that we are going to open Santa's gifts on the 26th, after we get home from traveling. Because, as we all know, Santa does not deliver kids toys to someone else's house, rather just their own. But, I dread having Ben wake up at my parents house on Christmas morning, and him break down into tears because Santa didn't find him. Or how I will be hearing "Mom, let's go home now...I want to open gifts" during the entirety of Christmas Day. These are the thoughts in my head that make me curse Steve's job.
But like I just said, I am going to keep the glass half full. Steve and I will somehow figure out how to show Ben a picture of Santa flying outside of Steve's plane on Christmas Eve. He will be thrilled! Ben will have three separate times to celebrate Christmas, and the final time will be in the comforts of our own home, with Daddy there! We will all celebrate what Steve knows as Christmas tradition, what I know as Christmas tradition, and then what we are forming together as our own Christmas tradition.
So, while Steve sits junior, we have to "roll with the punches" and take each Holiday as they come. We have a lifetime to make traditions, I suppose. Would I rather have Steve home? You betcha! But, we will make the most of what you have. Not to mention, it is because of people like Steve, that allow other people to be with their loved ones on Holidays. And if you look it that way, that is nice.