Welcome Home Honey

Steve flew a day trip the other week. Three legs. Early show, but he was home by 6:30p and was able to join us for dinner. Which was awesome. What wasn't awesome was his crabby ass that evening.

There is always something that triggers my blogging spark, and that evening was my spark. 

You don't know what man is going to walk through that door at the end of a trip. Perhaps his body clock got fucked with. Perhaps he had an asshole CA that wouldn't stop talking about the election, for 4 days. Perhaps he flew three legs that day, with weather, and was mentally drained. 

One thing that pilot wives are very good at is responding to the pilot that walks through the door at the end of a trip. And believe me when I say there are many different versions of the man you married that can walk through that door. They can be crabby, or happy, or normal, or bitchy, ect. Based on his mood, we know how to respond to keep peace in the house. Usually

There is also a tone that us pilot wives carry when he walks through that door after a long trip. Perhaps the last couple days was super easy on us, and we felt like a rockstar pilot wife. The house is perfectly kept and there is a gourmet meal on the table waiting for him. Or, perhaps, the trip kicked our ass. Every kid in the house was sick, puking all through the night, and the water heater broke. 
Your tone impacts his homecoming as well. 

The evening he gets home can play out in a few different ways. So, let's play out some of the evenings...

Scenario 1: Welcome home honey, I am fucking tired. 
Steve comes home and is able to spent time with us that evening.  Maybe he was even home in time for dinner!  After the kids go to bed, Steve and I settle in for the evening.  Around 9p, or so, we open a bottle of wine and settle in to watch an episode or two of a tv series. 

Not even half way through my wine, I fall asleep. I am just so exhausted from the previous days that I just can't keep my eyes open. Steve's presence makes me so comfortable that I fall asleep on the couch, which is something I would never do when he is gone.  While I drift into never never land, Steve switches the tv mode and starts up a game of Black Ops, or perhaps an NBA game.  After a bit, he then checks his web boards in the office. 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 he isn't going to get any, but knows how tired I am and respects me. 

Scenario 2: Welcome home honey, my love tank needs filled
His flight was the last flight of the night into the base.  He isn't due at the house until after 11pm. 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 fall into such a deep sleep that I don't know that Steve even got home.  Apparently he sent me a text to say "omw" (on my way) and it went unread. When he gets home and opens the garage door, the dog barks and I still don't hear him.  Around 2am I wake to find a man in my bed, but it doesn't startled 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 practically laying on top of him.  Admittedly, I can be a bit too much when in this position.  I have said it over and over, my love language is physical touch so I need his touch when he is home. Even if that comes in the form of me laying on top of him. 

Scenario 3: Welcome home honey, now go back where you came from

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 missed him incredibly the last couple days, and was anxiously awaiting his arrival. 
All day long, I play out the evening 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 is pissy, which just pisses me off. 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, and almost wish that he never came home in the first place.  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.

Scenario 4: Welcome home honey, to the perfect evening

I have to say, this is the best scenario out there. Steve gets home from a trip and the evening is perfect.  All the anticipation of a wonderful homecoming is met and it is just good to have your pilot home.  He is in a good mood, and you are in a good mood. The kids go to bed, and then you are able to reconnect with conversation and just enjoy each other.  At the end of the night, you have really good sex. 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.  

Scenario 5: welcome home honey, now get some sleep 
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, and our evening begins.
...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 I'm not getting any. But, I have to respect his need for sleep. There is always tomorrow. 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.

Scenario 6: welcome home honey, I want to run far, far away
This trip kicked your ass. You have been at this pilot wife thing for years now, and right when you think you have it down this trip comes and knocks you on your ass. This is due to work issues, home issues, kids issues, or any combination of the above. It sucks. You don't know where your pilot is during the trip, nor do you care. You are dealing with your own personal hell on the home front. You may send him texts here and there about said personal hell. He feels helpless. 

You make it very clear to him that the second he walks through that door, you are punching that time card...you will be officially off duty. 
You don't care what mood he is in, because if you don't get a break you may have a mental breakdown. The second he does walk through that door, you pour yourself a glass of wine, go to your bedroom, shut the door, and don't come out until the next morning. You are tapped out. 

Scenario 7: welcome home honey, glad you made it
Life at home happens with or without your pilot's presence.  When your pilot does present himself he has to meld into your plans. He had a long 4-day. Day 4 included three legs. Day 4 had a 4:15am van time. He is beat. But, when he gets into base, he throws on a sweater over his uniform shirt and drives over to the kids program. You meet him at the location. He looks exhausted, but he wouldn't miss it. You look over at him during the program, and the fatigue shows on his face. You give his hand and extra squeeze. You feel for him, and are thankful that he is there with the family. 


  1. This part really tug at my heartstrings:

    "He is beat. But, when he gets into base, he throws on a sweater over his uniform shirt and drives over to the kids program. You meet him at the location. He looks beat, but he wouldn't miss it. You look over at him during the program, and the fatigue shows on his face. You feel for him, and are thankful that he is there with the family."

    What a wonderful father and how lucky the kids are to have such hard-working and dedicated parents! This blog gives such an incredible and fun insight into the life of an aviation family. This should be a tv series :P

    Speaking of that, I too love the Golden Girls. They had a hilarious episode about flying in season 3: "Nothing to fear, but fear itself." Do you have a favorite Golden Girl? They sure help when one needs a break and a good laugh.


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