My husband was home for five hours today. Five. He came home late last night from Virginia, went into the office at 8 to unload the truck from their job yesterday, and was sent home. We figured we’d have the day together; the girls were excited, I was excited, and he seemed relieved to just be for a while. He was told to call in the afternoon for work for the rest of the week.
His phone beat him to the punch, and about five hours after he got home, he got a phone call from his boss. He had to go take some stuff to a job site in Pennsylvania.
His boss asked him if he needed time to be home for a while, but he wanted him to be on the road within an hour and a half of their conversation. So, I guess what his boss meant was, “you don’t really need time do you?” So he gave us kisses, said goodbyes, and left.
And I cried. A lot. Because it’s unfair. We had a day planned together. He was going to mow the yard, maybe look into putting up a crib for that baby that is going to be here before we know it. Maybe go see his grandparents who we have not seen since Easter…maybe have a fire tonight with the girls and enjoy being a family for a while.
We had a day planned.
He asked me if I minded if he left, and I asked him if I have ever had a choice.
Because here’s the thing. This job sucks. There is little about it that is good. The pay is only really good if he gets overtime. And unfortunately, the overtime only comes when he is traveling. Now, I am not saying he is making peanuts; don’t mistake me. But, hourly the pay is not as awesome as some people imagine it is. Hourly is still more than some other people make, yes. But it’s not what we were used to with his old company (and don’t be all, “She’s so shitty being all WE MAKE SO MUCH MONEY” because you know that is not it… so just don’t even say it.). It’s the overtime that makes it worth it. And, unfortunately since we are more than six months into his layoff, we have to do what we have to do for the money. It is the money that made him have to take the job in the first place; the threat of losing the money we were getting with unemployment was the cause of all of this. And so, yes, we sacrifice time for money. And it sucks ass. A lot. But it’s what we have to do until he gets the phone call, which I imagine will come right around the time of the apocalypse. I have to pretend it isn’t happening. Then the waiting isn’t terrible.
If I pretend it isn’t happening, I have nothing to wait for.
But anyway, today I cried. And I cried while getting my girls ready to go to the store. And I cried on the way to the store (we detoured to my mom and dad’s on the way. Sometimes you just need your mom.). Silently. But I cried. Because I am 33.5 weeks pregnant, I am in general discomfort constantly now, and goddamnit, I want my husband home. But we also need money for bills and survival….so what I want becomes secondary. And that, my friends, is when I realize that as a control freak, I have to let this go. I have to chin up, shut up, and deal with it because it damn well beats the alternative. It isn’t easy on anyone, and I am seeing some effects now in the girls I didn’t think we’d have to experience (but that is for another time). In the meantime, I am busying myself with getting the room ready for Finola. And I take advantage of every moment we have together because they are fleeting. Memories are made in those moments, which is nice, but I could use more of them.
He just called me, and we talked for about 45 minutes *a record for him*. It was nice. It’s so refreshing to know that even though he is miles away, we can be connected. We discussed what makes the job worth it, what makes it something we have no control or choice over, and what will make us continue to work at everything as hard as we do: we’re family. We are going to be forever. And this is not ideal, but it is not forever. And while I may cry, I don’t cry alone. I don’t hurt alone. And I am not going through this alone, even though sometimes it feels like he gets the better end of the deal as the one who isn’t home 24/7.
We do this together. Because we do what we have to do to survive and to make it. And if tears are shed along the way, they are not empty. There is only so long one person can go before the tears are the only way to communicate.
Today was that day, my friends. I am sure it will happen again. And when it does, I will let it happen. I need to be honest in all of this, honest in emotion and honest in action. And if I am being totally honest, this sucks. But, it isn’t forever.
And I can do anything I need to do for a short time.
Except now, that mantra has changed a bit.
I can do anything I need to do for as long as I need to do it.