Sunday, March 1, 2009

The IA Pilot Wife Comes Clean...

I am sitting here by myself in a quiet, empty house (a very rare occurrence) nursing my so sore I can barely walk upright back. Princess Maren and I got a little crazy "Moving It" (think Madagascar II) the other night and now I am in the hurt box. Oh well, it was worth it. The Captain left for a four day trip. Big M is at Abby's. Little M went to grandma's out of sheer boredom. Mommy is no fun when she can't move it, move it.

When I started this blog I really had no idea what I would do with it. I only knew that in the past I enjoyed writing and that sometimes I had all these feelings balled up inside me that I didn't know what to do with. I did not start this blog specifically to address the pilot wife life, but rather to help me embrace it. In many ways that has happened. Being a pilot wife, whether I like it or not, does seem to color every aspect of my life, and I have not always been too happy about it. In fact, if you had talked to me this time last year, or even five years ago, you may have found me to be scathingly mad and inwardly resentful about the hand I had been dealt. All covered up with a happy smile that everything was just fine.

The Captain is gone from our home most months, over half the time. Last month was wonderful. He was actually here more than he was gone. This month, due to his check ride, he will have a measly 12 days off. So if calculated by time, I feel like I only have half a husband, half a marriage, the girls have half a daddy and we have half a life together. In the past, I most certainly have seen that glass as being half empty.

There are the trivial things about being a pilot wife that seem annoying. Perpetual white shirt, navy dress pants laundry, weird pilot BO (The Captain always comes home smelling like this strange mixture of jet fuel, stale cockpits, grimy airports, and the last challenging landing he made - but there is something comforting about it because that means he is home) numerous battery packs being recharged at every outlet, and this aura of clutter (flight bag, overcoat, pilot hat, computer bag, carry on and these days, a large packet of index cards to prepare him for his check ride) that seems to follow The Captain everywhere he goes. And sometimes I am mildly resentful about having to share the bed that I have become comfortably accustomed to sleeping in all by myself.

Caption reads: "Could you stop making that breathing sound?"

(Bloglifted from Mandy at First You Make a Roux)

But less trivially, once I have gotten a good nights sleep, I really hate waking up in the morning to his side of the bed being completely undisturbed and all I have to do is fold my covers back into place and the bed is made. Makes me horribly sad. Such a physical reminder of my crazy half life theory. Then, there's that feeling of no air when watching news coverage of yet another airplane crash. And there are the girls. I get overly anxious when they miss him too much,

Princess Maren: "Mommy, I miss Daddy! When will he ever come home?"

Will they be emotionally scarred for life? Will they ever develop a good relationship with their Daddy - girls need that you know.

and equally anxious when they don't really seem to miss him at all.

IA Pilot Mom : "Daddy's coming home today. "

Sweet Marissa: Oh yeah, well... can I go to Abby's?"

Do they even remember they have a father? How can she be so nonchalant about that? She hasn't seen her Dad in five days?! Sometimes I feel so inadequate to the parenting challenge and really wish I did not have to go it alone as much as I do.

Somewhere in this past year me and the pilot wife have come to terms. The white flag has been unfurled and the peace treaty has been signed. I am not sure how it happened. God's grace, some maturity, a little bit of perspective that all in all we do have a lovely life. The hand I have been dealt is beautiful and more than I could ever have imagined for myself. We are healthy, we are blessed and we love each other. Oh, I am sure there will be days - our mamas always told us there would be. Maybe it is the choice I have finally made to look at things half full and in that seem to have been completely filled.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


The B Keeper said...

I love how you do put your feelings out there. How others can benefit from seeing you work through them. Like me ! Although not a pilot's wife...having a hubby that works from home & then travels is an emotional roller coaster.

I am encouraged by your testimony of God's grace, your surrender, and your seasoned view of your circumstances.

Keep blogging ! I look forward to seeing you in person sometime soon. Like this summer. To give you a big ole ((hug))....

Baloney said...

Great post. Thanks for the insight.
My husband rarely travels so when he does... I kind of like having the place to myself. The boys go to bed early and I watch chick flicks and sleep in the middle of the bed. :)
BUT I would be sad if he were gone on a regular basis.

'Captain Craig' said...

I'm touched SG, thanks for sharing! Things are better, different between us, more peace, less division and tension, more grace! You're a great Mom, Nurse, and IA Pilot Wife! It's getting better all the time (slightly cheesy lifted Beatles line)

This U2 quote from "Grace" is for you:
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

(I'll see you THU for lunch!)

Kim said...

How wonderfully real
Mountains in life are to be…
Explored, lived

Sister! When we are weak we are made strong. You and Craig are climbing the mountain together and sharing the view. How it blesses the rest of us! Sooo happy to be your Sister!