Thursday morning: 7:15am
I was in my bedroom with the kids getting them ready for school. This is a normal thing for the three of us. I wake the kids and carry them into my room. With their half-sleepy eyes, they tune into Disney Junior and slowly wake up. I find this is the best way to wake them without any tears and fights. After a couple minutes, they are fully awake and ready to change into their clothes. The kids were dressed, and I was just about to do CC's hair. All the sudden, Daddy appeared in the bedroom doorway. Of course I could hear the garage door open, and the dogs bark, but I kept quiet.
"Daddy!" Ben yelled. And a handsome (I don't think a wife ever gets sick of seeing her husband in uniform) and weirdly-chipper-for-having-just-worked-a-red-eye Steve walked over to the bed and gave CC and Ben this biggest hug and kiss.
This is what a homecoming should be like, after a 4-day. Steve helped me with the rest of the morning getting ready ritual, and Steve waved to the three of us as we pulled out of the driveway and we were off to a normal day. I am sure the bluebirds sang, and fairies sprinkled pixie dust all over the rainbow that was over our house...the perfect morning! OK, so maybe that isn't totally what happened, but it really was the perfect homecoming, and the perfect morning. If is often hard to guess what attitude your pilot is going to have when he walks through those doors, but this morning it was perfect. What a great way to start a set of days off.
A pilot wife has to tip-toe around her husband's precious sleep schedule. I usually figure that it is safe to call around 1p, or so, after Steve gets in from a red-eye. Usually, I want for him to reach out to me so that I don't disturb him. But, I had an agenda that day, so I texted him. You up?
His response? Now I am.
Crap. That just makes me feel like a big ol' bag of shit. I hate, hate, hate when I wake him from sleep. I texted him back an apology, and figured that once he would really wake up he would call me. Steve has never been one to spring out of bed...I know better then to bombard him when he wakes up. I gave him some space.
You see, here is how our afternoon needed to play out: I get off work at 3:30p. I was going to get the kids after work, and then get downtown for Merchant Trick or Treat. That was from 4p-6p. I needed Steve to pack the kids costumes, and Ben's gymnastics stuff. I had yet to discuss any of this with Steve. Well, our shared google calendar had this all on there, but chances are Steve didn't know anything about our plans that afternoon.
2:30p: I heard nothing from Steve. For the next 30 minutes I must have called him 5 times and texted him. By 3:00p I must have elevated the frequency to calling once every 5 minutes. Well, low and behold Steve finally calls me back at 3:27p...right as I was talking to my dip-shit client on the phone. I couldn't take Steve's call. So, he texted me "I am blowing leaves...in case you call and I don't answer."
Fuck! I was trying to contact him for 2 hours, and I miss his one fucking call because of my dip-shit client? Awesome!
I hung up with my dip-shit client, and called Steve back maybe 3 minutes later. No answer. Awesome! Fucking awesome!
As I was walking out of my office building, my next phone call was actually to my awesome neighbor. I asked if she was home so that she could run over to our house and yell to Steve "stop blowing the fucking leaves and call your beautiful wife!" Well, she was about 15 minutes from home, but promised to deliver the message upon her arrival.
I must have called Steve 2 dozen times in the next 15 minutes. With each phone call I was getting more and more pissed.
Here is the tricky balance with having your pilot home and then not home...and home and then not home...and home and then not home... If Steve was NOT home, I would have planned everything that afternoon, and took care of everything MYSELF. It would have all worked out. This (doing it all) is what I am good at since I do this 4 days a week. I have practice by this point, and I am used to it.
On this day, however, I was relying on Steve. He was home, so why shouldn't he be a part of this home life?
Maybe I should have written our plans down somewhere? Oh, wait! I did! On our SHARED GOOGLE CALENDAR!
As the kids are growing, I find that our lives are getting busier. Over the summer, I was introduced to the shared google calendar - and how awesome it is! And it really is! Well, I use it. And Steve? He does not....usually. See the problem?
When he is sometimes in our life, and sometimes out of our life, we need a shared calendar where we can see our activities all in front of us. When he is out of our life so much, there are plenty of things that can go unmentioned so I figure this is the best way to give him insight into our life. I am trying to make this easy on him.
At work, I sometimes write down items on a post-it and chit chat with Steve when he calls me on a sit.
Ok, back to last Thursday: around 3:50p Steve FINALLY called me. He had a chuckle in his voice, probably laughing that our neighbor passed along the message to stop with the fucking leaves and to call his beautiful wife. He had no clue what was about to hit him.
I was not happy, and I couldn't hide it. I immediately went into our plans and barked orders at him. My tone was elevated the entire time.
The call did not go well. It all went WAY downhill when Steve told me to "get over it" or something to that effect. At that point, I actually yelled at Steve, and I rarely do that. In fights, I usually close up and want to be alone and not talk. I usually withdraw, not yell. I also think I hung up on him. I rarely do that, too. I actually think that is one of the most rude things you can do to someone. But, for some reason I had this rage take over. If he would have only called me at 2p and said "hi Honey, I am awake now. What's new? What's going on?" The afternoon would have been so much different.
Rather, I just blew up. I blew up...then hung up...then proceeded to cry. I like to think I can control my emotions, but I sure as hell didn't that afternoon.
And how did the rest of the afternoon play out, you may ask? Well, low and behold, the kids were gotten, and Steve met us downtown. Steve was on top of all the details, on such a short notice. We did our trick-or-treat thing, and then went to dinner (where I had a beer, thank goodness!). Steve and Ben went off to gymnastics, while CC and I headed to Target.
The evening was rounded out with me falling asleep on the couch at 9pm. I slept like shit the 4 nights prior, so I was tired. Remember my post about Day 4 Had our issues passed by 9pm? Fuck, at this point in the night I was too tired to think about it...
...but, Steve sure did bring it up again the next morning, as I was walking out the door to volunteer...
Let's add another dimension to this whole pilot wife thing: fights. Steve had just got in from a 4-day. Our life is usually rather happy and comfortable. I am sure he was looking forward to a comfortable 3 days at home. I am sure he was not looking forward to being pissed off at me for this 3 days at home.
Not only does it sucks when you are bickering with your spouse, it sucks even worse when you have limited time with your spouse and you are bickering. Less than half your life may be spent with your pilot. Who wants to spend that time fighting? Tick-tock...there goes that clock again, ticking away until he leaves again for another 4 days away from house and home.
What do all the professional say? Never go to bed angry with one another? I get that. I do. I get that things can happen in a split second that can change your world forever, so make sure you are always okay with everyone. But, in the same respect, I believe that feelings need to be felt. And that real emotions need to run their course.
Steve was pissed at me. And rightfully so! I had an out of body experience where I jumped all over him, and not in the kinky way, and I yelled at him. Good thing he didn't see my head spin around and the saliva spewing from my mouth.
I was also pissed at him. He didn't answer my phone calls for 2 fucking hours! We have kids. We have a life! He can be disconnected when he is working, I am used to that. We can't be disconnected for 2 hours when you are fucking blowing leaves...when we have a life to live. We have shit to do....shit that I laid out on our shared google calendar that he rarely looks at.
We eventually got better. No make up sex...yet. I attribute that to our recent discovery of Homeland. So, our evenings were spent watching the first season into the wee hours of the evening. But, we are good. Fights like this are rare for us, and usually pass rather quickly.
Here are a couple things I learned from this experience.
1. don't give your pilot husband just two hours notice of an event. It may take longer than two hours to reach him.
2. to all pilots out there: never let 2 hours go by without calling your
wife back. She has got shit to arrange...and you better get with it or else she may rage out.
3. to all the pilots out there: look at your google shared calendar. Your wife inputs that information for herself, and YOU! Remember that. Life gets busy. Not all plans can be exchanged over the phone in your quick calls while you are away. Not to mention, I get that you have lots and lots of numbers floating around in your head while at work with fuel, speeds, souls, altitudes, runways, ect. I am doing my best to not add more numbers (like parent teacher conference 11-15 at 4:15p) to the mix - that is why I write it down.
4. and this is probably most important, if you are in the wrong, apologize. I have a hard time saying "I am sorry." I am always right. My apology this round came via text. It was heartfelt, even though it flashed over in a text message. Ironic that I can spill my life all over a blog for the world to read, yet I have a hard time saying certain words in person. Once I said I was sorry, that started to clear the air.
...but, none of this would have happened if he would have only answered his fucking phone!