It's here. It happened. The day we knew would eventually come but blithely thought we could avoid forever. A went back to work. After 30 months off. I'm thankful that he's able to go back to the career he reached for for so long. But a bit wistful as well.
It's a strange transition. I know what it's like to live this life, it's what I lived most of the time that we've been together. But now I know the other life too. I wish I could find a compromise of the two. At least with both Kidzilla and me in school, we are occupied. I've been trying to outline some sort of routine for us to keep things organized, it will come with time.
After having spent the past 7 weeks joined at the hip while I've been on summer break, this is probably the best possible time for him to be away for a while. Since we had two weeks notice of his upcoming retraining, we were able to mentally prepare ourselves. But still, yesterday there were tears at the airport. Not the big bawling kind there were the first time I dropped him off for training, but a few. There was also the morning packing episode where A finally showed his stress about going. But together we finally got all of his things correctly and compactly packed. He left us with last minute instructions about the best place to park our car in the complex, instructions on proper dishwashing techniques and a request to please not spend too much money at the grocery store- all signature A worries when he's not here to supervise. I was touched that he was so concerned about us being on our own, sometimes we all forget to tell people how much we care about them.
The most difficult part of this training, for Kidzilla and me, (aside from having to have Kidzilla at the bus stop at 6:40am daily) is that due to the limited flight schedule at our local regional airport, for most of A's time off between training sessions, we are going to have to rondevu in Jacksonville, three hours away. A simply CAN'T get home to our local airport and have any reasonable amount of time home before he has to go back. Thankfully we have a place to stay in Jacksonville, because we'll be headed there for at least the next three consecutive weekends. Incidentally, I think we finally found the one positive thing about working for Gulfstream Airlines- they don't fly on Saturdays. At all. Not enough to outweigh the negatives, but at least it's something.
This going back to work process has been interesting. There was recently a round of recalls for furloughed pilots as well and the training center seemed to have difficulty with the fact that A was a return to work off disability and NOT a furloughee. I was able to connect with another pilot wife from the company who's husband was also returning to work off disability and we were able to bounce experiences off of each other. It was a sanity saver because we were both being told different things at different times. Our husbands ended up in training together. Hopefully it's the start of a long friendship for us all.
It was so frustrating knowing that different people were being told different things. As a "helper" type person (I'm a social worker after all), I want so bad to sit down with the heads of HR and training and say "hey, this was our experience and I know you can do better. Here's my suggestions". If I were in charge of HR I would want to know so I could make everything the most streamlined and efficient as possible. But in large companies, it just doesn't seem to happen that way. At this point though, any effect I did have would be negated by the fact that the company was bought out and is merging with another a year or so down the road anyway.
For now, I'll just concentrate on getting through my last semester of classes (already!) and finding time to enjoy what I have instead of finding all the ways that everyone else could be doing a better job of things.