Friday morning I was in Cici's room helping her get dressed for school.
Ben comes in, and examines the random stuff on her dresser. He was just killing time, waiting for me to go downstairs to start breakfast. "Why's the shower running?" Ben asked. Totally serious, and very curious. Throw in a bit of worry, too. To him, anyone needing a shower in the house was present in the room.
"Daddy's home," I answered. I wanted to follow-up with, "remember him?"
"Oh!" and then a big smile appeared on his face. He knew Steve was coming home on Thursday night...hell, he had to help me clean up with me proclaiming that "shit needed picked up since Daddy was coming home."
But, that morning he simply forgot about him. Out of sight, out of mind. This is the life of a kid when Daddy is a pilot.
Typically on Friday night the kids have Polish School. Ben was invited to a birthday party last Friday, so I let him skip school and go to the party. This meant that Steve, Cici, and I stayed home and chilled...a rare event for a Friday night. Well, we did make a Costco run earlier in the evening. Why the hell can't you leave that place for less than $200?!
After we got home from Costco, Steve went back to working in the basement, which he had been doing all day when the kids were at school. We are starting a basement remodel, and he is taking the lead on it. We are at the stage now of cleaning out all the shit that we have accumulated for the last 19 years of togetherness.
Speaking of basements, and shit in basement, you have to read: Shit Happens. I know all you pilot wives can relate. It's one of the funniest stories...I'm proud of this one.
Remember folks, when Steve has a task he is full bore until it's complete. He was very focused on sorting through all our shit. I participated a bit and directed him to "keep" or "toss" or "donate."
By 7:30, I no longer wanted to participate. He got pissy at me. I didn't care. I went upstairs and planted my ass on the chair. I turned the tv on, and cracked open a beer. My week was fucking exhausting. Like, so exhausting that I feel asleep on the couch by 9pm, and slept 11 1/2 hours! I never sleep 11 1/2 hours.
After we got back from the cruise Steve was awesome and did all the laundry. "I know how busy you are during the week, so I want to leave you with empty laundry baskets." Super sweet! What a man.
By the end of the week, those baskets were full of clothes, and then some. Throughout the week I did manage to put a load away, and wash and hang another load. But, I had no more energy in me.
Why, you ask? Because I'm a solo parent when he's gone. Some weeks I'm awesome and can carry the world on my shoulders. Other weeks I suck and feel like a failure.
Let's run down the week:
Monday: work. school. getting the house put back together after vacation. getting ready for Halloween.
Tuesday: work. school. Carving pumpkins. Halloween/trick-or-treat. Get together with friends. Cleaning up decorations.
Wednesday: work. school. Ben's basketball. Buy and putting up fall decorations (we are hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I have to have the house looking good)
Thursday: work. school. Ben took the bus home, when he should have stayed for an after school activity...chaos ensued. Cici had dance. Clean the house since Steve was coming home.
Throw in the fact that work was crazy busy all week. And that my body was still pissed at me for eating as much sodium I did on the cruise. And that I felt like I was always two steps behind the entire week since I felt like I was playing catch-up from being on the cruise. It was just a long week.
Going back to the laundry note above, when Saturday rolled around the laundry baskets were over-flow-eth. Steve made a comment, "why don't you just do a load a day." Ha! As if I have extra time in the day to add laundry to the list. *sigh*
Sometimes I just don't think he realizes how busy I can be. He made the point in earlier in the week about how busy I am and he was so helpful in getting the laundry done before he left, so I want to think he gets it. But when he follows up with the suggestion of doing a load every night, I think how much he doesn't get it.
Typically when he calls in the evening our conversations are rather sparse.
"How's your evening?"
"How are the kids?"
I don't typically go into a full play-by-play of our night. I could. I could tell him about the fits that Cici is throwing, or the dog poop that I had to clean off of shoes. But, I don't. I spare him all those details, typically. So, I get how our conversations might showcase a calm house. But, I don't want him to ever get worried about us when he is at home. So, I typically give the impression that all is well. And with that, he probably doesn't realize how crazy/busy things can get.
Tuesday night the kids and I didn't have anything planned. Thank the good Lord. It's nice to have a night where we just chill and hang. Around 7pm I was cleaning up after dinner, clearing out school papers, and then I started cleaning the floors. Meanwhile Cici needed to practice her spelling words. I asked her to write down the words down first, so she could familiarize herself again with the words, and then I would quiz her. As I was pushing the dry mop around, Cici was yelling at me for not helping her with the words. "Cici, once you practice the words once, then I will help you..."
She didn't like that answer. I then proceeded to explain to her how things are, "when Daddy is gone, it is all me doing the work of two parents. That means I have to do school work and do housework. Give me a freakin' break."
She didn't get it. Nor will she for a long while. Perhaps I make it looks easy, the solo-parent thing. But one day she will realize just how much work it is to raise kids, solo, week in and week out.
I met some girlfriends for happy hour on Wednesday. I needed to be home by 5:30 so that I could get Ben off to basketball practice. On my drive home I called Steve to check-in. He was in Cancun. When I told him I was driving home from happy hour, he grew silent.
"Who's with the kids?"
I found his tone hilarious. It was half worry...no, full worry. Tone is everything.
I had a neighbor gal get the kids off the bus and stay with them. It's all good. The kids like her, and it gives me some freedom to be normal when Steve is gone. That's huge for me. And it's something that I am starting to do more. It's important for me to develop my friendships, especially with women who are smart and funny and make me feel so great to be around.
Steve just needs to get accustomed to me doing things like this. He likes that I do things for myself, it's just that it was very much out of my rhythm to go to happy hour in his absence, hence his tone.
I need your suggestions. We are planning on going away this winter, but don't know where. We plan on taking the kids. We have about 5 days. We want somewhere warm. Tell me where you would go.
Have a great weekend y'all!