The other night the sight of my eldest son lying down at the top of the staircase with his pillow, afghan, his favorite yellow blanket, and his pal Chester greeted me as I came up to go to bed. He wasn't quite asleep yet and when I asked him what he was doing he said, "I don't get to see Daddy a lot anymore so I was hoping to catch a glimpse of him." Hubby has started a new rotation at work. It involves a longer commute, no off-Fridays, and less family dinners. Hubby really likes his current position and is learning a lot, but the commute, lack of time off, and seeing the family a lot less is definitely a drawback. It made me a little sad that Boogie was missing Daddy so much. I figured I would have to suck it up, it's only for 6 months and with our busy schedule I didn't think that the kids have noticed these changes. I have tried to keep things going as smoothly at home, but my kids are observant and after Hubby has missed a number of dinners, they started noticing.
We were all very grateful for our week long vacation at the beach and time to spend together as a family. We were all a little spoiled getting to spend so much time with Daddy. But we are back to reality, Boogie will begin school on Monday, and Buggy the week after. Hubby is already back at work and with soccer looming, my races coming up (I have two scheduled over the next two weeks), and our volunteer duties at church, our weekends will be busy once again. Which means less family time as we zoom off in our different directions.
Hubby made it a point to take Boogs out the other night for some father-son time and I think it has helped to ease missing Daddy. They went out for dinner, walked around after, and came home with dessert. They were out for several hours and spent most of the time just talking and hanging out. I think it was a good idea. Although Hubby and I do many things for our children like volunteering in their classrooms, participate in their athletic events being coaches or reps, and volunteering when and where needed, sometimes it is good to just be with them. Play a game, read a book, take each of them out for a little one-on-one time. While all the volunteering in their many activities is good and keeps us involved, the one-on-one time keeps us connected.
I spent the evening at home with the Buggy and Bananas. We had a dance party in the kitchen while I made dinner. We watched a movie and snuggled together. We enjoyed a low key evening. It's times like these when we allow the kids to stay up late in the middle of the week that I am grateful for the last week of summer when we don't have any obligations to camps or sporting events and we can soak up the last few days before the start of the school year just doing whatever we can whenever we want because we do not have to be somewhere.
I think Hubby will have to make a few more date nights with each of the children while he continues with this rotation. I am grateful that although I see him less, he is not traveling and I see him when he comes home and on the weekends. It also means I will be more diligent in scheduling date nights so that we can spend extra time together. This rotation is good for his career and hard on the family, but it is necessary at this time. At the end of the day, we still have each other and that is a good thing.