When my pilot is on the road and calls me, I make every effort to answer his call. I don't always know where he is or how long he will have to talk, and maybe he has something important to tell me. I like to make myself available for him. But, there are times when he calls at just the right time.
Steve left the house around noon to start his 3-day. Around 4pm I heard my phone ringing. At the time, my phone was in the garage and I was down at the shed having a sword fight with one of the dozen mice that have taken up residence there.
I made my way up the hill, and picked up my phone...missed call.
I called him right back, and he didn't answer. Apparently the crew room gets shit cell phone coverage, so the call was never received on his end. Don't you love how someone calls you, and not 30 seconds later you call back and they don't pick up?! Annoying! These are the little things that wear on you when you have distance in your relationship.
Whatever...I went along my merry way, figuring that Steve was probably just checking in. My merry way included cleaning up winter in the yard so that we could welcome spring. My mother-in-law was over, so she and I cleaned up the back porch and organized the backyard. For me this also included moving: 4 bags of play sand, a 40 pound bag of bird seed, multiple clay pots and a sand box. I also cleaned up dog poo. Gotta love being 6'1" and hunching over to clean up two bags of dog poo. This all did wonders on my back.
So, when 5pm rolled around and I was preparing the last plate of pasta for dinner, all I wanted to do was sit down, relax, and eat...not talk on the phone.
Ring ring...ring ring. Must you call me right now?
"Hello?" I asked.
"What's goin' on?" Steve responded. Now, isn't that a loaded question!
I could have answered him exactly with "pulling CC's plate out of the microwave." Or, I could have gone through exact detail of our afternoon:
- gathered the kids into the car, but this was only after asking them 1 million times to put on their socks and shoes and to go potty
- drove down to the consignment store to get a spring jacket for CC, but only after Ben was crying 1/2 the ride down there because he wanted to get the sand first
- got to the consignment store and while the kids were playing happily CC yells "I go poppy!" Thankfully, I had the portable potty in the car, so when I remembered that the door sign clearly read "no public restrooms" I was able to make it quickly to the back of our car...where CC proceeded to poo something big enough to rival any adults best efforts. What... you don't see a 2-year-old pooping in a potty in the back of a station wagon in the middle of the parking lot? What...that isn't normal? Yes, this is motherhood.
- after the consignment store we went to a craft store so I could get flowers for the wreath on our front door. I parked too close to the car next to me and could barely get out. I could give the play-by-play, if desired, on selection of said flowers and why I ultimately chose what I did
- finally to the hardware store we went. We loaded up the sand, bird seed, two types of tomato seeds, and a seed starter kit...only after CC pulled down every "cucumber" seed packet she found.
- back to the house...we unloaded the car...
Damn, I am getting sick of typing all the details out, and this was all before we started in on the hard work of removing winter from our back yard...lifting, moving, sweeping, throwing away, cleaning...so, imagine if I would have given Steve this full breakdown, and then some. Because, that really is "what was going on." I am sure he would have started to tune me out.
So, when he asked "what's goin' on?" I knew he wasn't really interested in exactly what I was doing, rather it was just a greeting. Kind of like "hi, how are you?" Most times people don't really care how you are, they are just saying it because that is what you say to people. I knew this, especially at this point in our relationship...which is exactly why I responded with "nothing."
Again, all I wanted was to sit down, eat and relax...not talk on the phone. Bad pilot wife.
You see, Steve was about to head out for a trans-con, so I knew this would be the last time we would talk for the night. I could have been more warm, more responsive. I love you honey, I miss you honey, Sweet dreams my love. But, I wasn't. Our conversation was quick.
Sometimes it happens that conversations on the phone are very hollow. Sometimes I am a chatterbox on the phone; at times, I am not. And the same goes for Steve. Sometimes he is very talkative, and other times I can't get three words out of him.
I find that my relationship with my pilot rarely progresses on the road...the relationship progression happens when my pilot is home. Because of this, I am not bothered by hollow conversations, and I am sure Steve feels the same way. Sometimes it is just the way it is...his schedule may be nuts...my schedule may be nuts. Life doesn't always allow for us to sweet talk to each other on the phone for hours and hours when he is away. That was for the beginning on our relationship. Now, we talk to inform and discuss issues that need addressed within the day. And everything else can wait for when he gets home.
Now, that time when he gets home and we catch up is such a nice time: the kids are down, wine is poured, and we talk about the last week. That makes up for any hollow conversations. That is, if I don't fall asleep on the couch first from exhaustion from the last couple days, mixed with the ultimate comfort that my husband is now home.