Me: 11:47pm the other night. You see, my boyfriend just left, and I could not get to sleep. Ok, so maybe the boyfriend part isn't true, but the not getting to sleep part is all truth.
Thankfully The Golden Girls were keeping me company, but the whole not sleeping thing sucks. What is the cause of this? Steve wasn't home.
I don't know if it is just me, or if it happens to other pilot wives, but my sleep suffers when my pilot is away. And then when he gets home I have to adjust again. This constant back and forth of weird sleep and then normal sleep isn't so fun. When I am sleeping alone I am all over the bed. Remember I am 6 feet tall, so I can really stretch pretty good across our king sized bed. This makes for a mess of the sheets in the morning. But, it is nice to have the space so that I can eventually come to find some sort of comfortable position.
Basically every night that Steve is gone I should be going to sleep at 10p, but I don't fall asleep until 11p something. The next night gets a bit easier since I am tired from the previous night, but I am never able to fall asleep as easily as I do when Steve is home. It isn't that I am scared or hear noises, it is more just a void in the bed that doesn't let me get completely settled.
...and then Steve gets home on Day 4. Day 4 is always a relief in a pilot's wife world! Day 4 means no longer being a single parent. Not to mention, the man you love and married is physically back in your life. And I am able to fall asleep without issues! Let the catch up on sleep begin!
Ok, so let's lay out the different scenarios when Steve finally gets home:
Day 4: Steve comes home and is able to spent time with us. Maybe he was even home in time for dinner! Steve and I settle in for the evening after the kids go to bed. So, around 9p or so, we have a bottle of wine open, or a beer poured, and we talk about this or that...or just watch tv.
Promptly at 9:30p, I fall asleep on the couch, or the recliner chair. I am just so exhausted from the previous days that I just can't keep my eyes open. And, Steve's presence makes for me being ultimately comfortable. While I drift into never never land, Steve promptly switches the tv mode and starts up a game of Black Ops. After a few good kills, he then checks his web boards, and finally in the 11pm hour he prompts me to go to bed. I change into my pjs and then almost instantly fall asleep in bed. He makes his way up to the bedroom, but I am just so exhausted that I don't even notice that he finally got into bed. He curses that I am not awake to *cough* *cough* make up for lost time.
Day 4: His flight is the last flight of the night. Just knowing that he is due home gives me comfort, so when I make my way to bed I am able to fall asleep with no issues. In fact, I get so comfortable that I don't know that Steve even got in. This is when he sends me a text to say "on the bus" or "omw" (our little code for 'on my way') and it goes unread since I don't hear it. This is when he gets home and opens the garage door, the dogs bark, and I still don't hear him. I am sound asleep. Until about 2am...this is when I wake to find a man in my bed, but it never startles me...it comforts me. Ah, Steve is home! And then around 3am or so, Steve is attacked by a 155 pound woman. That can't be fun for Steve...death by suffocation? Here he finally lays his head down in the comforts of his own bed, and then he wakes a bit later to find me laying on top of him trying to snuggle. Admittedly, I can be too much in this position. I have said it over and over, my love language is physical touch. After 4 days of being gone, my love tank needs filled. In my world, the more I touch the more my love tank is filled, hence the reason I feel the need to nearly lay directly on top of him.
Day 4: His flight is due in just in time for him to join us for dinner. Oh the evening is going to be JUST perfect. I play out the evening all day long in my head. We will hug and kiss, and he will play with the kids...all the while, magical pixie dust floats in the air and an angel plays a harp. In reality, he gets home, and he pisses me off with one thing or another. Buzz Kill...there you go setting your expectations too high! This is when I can get so pissed that I don't even want to be in the same room with him. Steve has been known to say "Joanna, don't start off my days off like this" in this scenario. And this is where my response would be the ever mature "well, you started it." Eventually I make my way to bed, curl into a ball, of course with my back to him, and fall asleep. As I fall asleep, I am pissed that I am pissed. Starting days off in a tiff is never ideal...but, it is the reality sometimes when you go from 'my world' to 'our world'.
Day 4: I have to say, this is the best scenario out there...but with a twist. Steve gets home from a trip and the evening is perfect. All the anticipation is met and it is just good to have your pilot husband home. The kids go down, and then you are able to reconnect with talk and just enjoy each others company. At the end of the night, any lost time is surely recaptured, if you catch my drift. I have said it before, and I will say it again, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you can finally "reconnect" for lost time, it is just good. Plain and simple. If drunk sex is best, this scenario comes in a close second. You pilot wives know what I am talking about. This totally make up for any lost time, and sometimes even makes the absence seem worth it. I may even go as far as saying this is one of the perks of the job. And for the twist? After proper welcome home activities are completed, your husband promptly rolls over and falls asleep. And there you are...wide awake...twiddling your thumbs.
Day 4: he arrives home early in the morning from a red-eye. Since I spend the day at work and the kids spend the day at school, he is able to sleep off the red-eye. The kids and I get home around 4:30p or so, and we spend the evening together. We eat dinner as a family, and play together.
...and then 7pm hits. Steve hits the wall and gets tired. He may power through it, or he may take a quick nap on the recliner. Finally, around 9pm he looks over at me and says "it is going to be an early night, this trip really fucked with my body clock." We make our way upstairs and the instant his head hits the pillow he is asleep. This is when I curse that he is not awake for *cough* *cough* welcome home activities. But, I have to respect his need for sleep. Even though Steve is asleep, I have the comfort of him being in bed. I don't mind too much since this gives me control over the remote. No Family Guy tonight...I drift into never never land with the company of Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia.
I have no doubt that one of these scenarios play out in each and every pilot household when the pilot gets home. We are an adaptable bunch. This is just another example of how we roll with the punches, and adapt as best we can. Wishing us all the fabulous scenario 4!