Tired and lonely

Steve was in Cancun about a week ago. While he was there, our yard looked like this:
A post shared by Joanna (@comebackdaddy) on
Steve bids warm locations over the winter. I'm not bothered by this. I like when he's in nice locations.

But, there was something about this trip that didn't sit too well with me, and it wasn't that I was shoveling the driveway while he was in swim trunks and flip-flops. He texted me around 20:30 telling me he was tired. My response was that he should "go to bed."

"I'm at a bar with my captain."

As the story goes, he was out at a restaurant/bar with his CA. Then another crew came in...and then another crew came in. So, his dinner turned into a longer than expected night. He got into CUN that morning on a red-eye. Certainly, he was tired.

Typically I like when he is out with the crew...life is meant to be enjoyed with people, at least I think it should be. I would rather him out than being bored in a hotel room. But this time around, his text struck the wrong cord with me.

Perhaps because at that exact moment, I had been telling the kids to get ready for bed for the last 20 minutes. And Niko had a hot spot on his leg that I was addressing. And Ben had to dress like a hero for school the next day, so we were piecing that look together. Oh, and Cici had wacky hair day, so we were dealing with that, too...which meant that I had to break into my sewing stuff so that I could fix a pink hair extension.

This was at the end of a day that started with a 2-hour school delay for the kids, which meant that I went into work late. Which meant that my full work schedule, which is typically 5 1/2 hours a day, was crushed down into 4 hours. I was crazy busy at work. But when I got home, the afternoon was nice and relaxing. I even roasted a chicken for dinner. But, then the busyness picked back up around bedtime. It was a long day.

That exact text, at that exact moment, after that exact day, made for a not so supportive Joanna.

I hate that I wasn't more supportive for Steve being tired. But, I can't be awesome at everything.


***

Cici and Steve are part of a Daddy/Daughter troop. They hold meetings one night a month, typically on Thursday. Typically Steve works on Thursday. This means that our awesome neighbor will take Cici to the meetings, and then drop her off at the end. I always encourage her to go to the meetings, because it's good for her socially.

But, as of late, I've been thinking about the possibility that Steve and Cici should no longer be a part of this troop. They do awesome things throughout the year, like camps and dances, but these monthly meetings are starting to be tough on her.

She is becoming VERY aware of Steve's absence at these meetings. She is realizing that while all the dad are standing around and talking, her dad isn't there. She is starting to get that lonely feeling that I've felt from the beginning of my relationship with Steve. (A Pilot Wife Kind of Lonely) At home, I fill that void, but I can't always be there to fill that void. She is now becoming aware of that. It breaks my heart.

Her last meeting was last Thursday. Steve was working. Because the meeting was in our neighborhood, I dropped her off. I was to get a text when it was time to get her. The text came around 8:30, and it was accompanied with this picture:

"I think she's ready. She's been down all night."

I picked her up, and she cried with her face buried in my neck as I carried her to the car. This, folks, is what it's like when your dad is an airline pilot. I just let her cry, and told her it was okay to feel sad. I told her that sometimes it is tough not to have dad around all the time.

I shared the evening with Steve. Not in a way to make him feel badly, but rather to discuss the possibility that they exit the troop. He got defensive. I understand why. In no way am I blaming him for any of this...I accept our reality. It isn't his fault. It's no ones fault. It's just hard when you see your child sad because dad isn't home.

I am thankful that Steve is an engaged father when he is home. And I will continue to try my hardest to make sure the kids see all the positive things about Steve job, and not focus on any of the negatives.


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