Making the most of it

Tom is required to get four days off a month- that is not in addition to weekends. And he’s just been meeting his requirement the last few months. Scotter wakes up nearly every morning, asking for his Dad only to cry when I tell him, that I’m sorry, he’s at work. You can’t imagine a more excited reunion than they share nearly every night. Tom must feel like a super hero. (And he kind of is.) Despite his long hours, and short sleep he comes home happy and cheerful- eager to wrestle, run, and follow whatever other game Scotland constructs. When Tom puts him to bed they do “talking” where Tom will lie on the floor next to Scotter’s bed and they’ll just chat for 15 minutes. Usually the conversation centers around dragons or dinosaurs.

Scotter’s first movie theater experience- the Crest Theater in Shoreline.
We try to make the most of his few days off. It’s a hard balance, because my “honey-do” list grows longer by the week, and yet our time with Tom is so limited that we usually scrape the list, and head off for fun adventures. Last week, Tom was able to get off early enough so we could take Scotland to experience the movie theater for the first time. We have a $3 theater a few minutes from us, and Monster’s University was the ticket. Tom spent his lunch allowance on “treats” and we popped a bag of popcorn that we brought with us. Sitting on his booster seat, eating endless gummy bears, yogurt covered pretzels and popcorn, his eyes intent his brows focused, Scotland was in heaven. As is our tradition at home, he chatted and asked questions- to our discomfort. Fortunately, the theater was full of kids, so he wasn’t the only one. He went into the show calling the monsters, dragons, and he’s kept it up ever since. He told me the other day, “The dragons had to learn how to be scary, Mom.” I’m afraid this kid has his father’s love of film.
Yesterday, Tom got off extra early and surprised us by arriving home at 4:00! He suggested- let’s go out! After a bit of quick web research we headed off to try a food truck in Ballard, El Camion, and then took the tacos and burritos to Kelly’s Park to enjoy as we gushed at the Seattle skyline most people would recognize from postcards- where the Space Needle looks like it’s in the center of town. (In reality it’s quite a ways from downtown.) We ended off the night by walking around Ballard’s historic district, marveling at all the posh restaurants and shops, laughing at Scotland’s observations, and finally nearly jumping out of our skins as the town bell rang loudly in our ears while we were standing in the bell tower. It was a perfect night, one that left us all warm with familial emotion.
(Tom just arrived home at a few minutes to 9:00, Scotter went to bed an hour ago, but hearing the garage door he just came to the top of the stairs beckoning sweetly “Daddy! Daddy!)
I’ve had friends who have thrilled at their positions as “Doctor’s wives.” I can’t say I’ve ever shared the sentiment. I’m glad that Tom has a job that he loves, glad that he comes home most days feeling like he’s really made a difference in people’s lives. But I can’t help envying my friends who’s husbands are home at 5:30 every day, who’s schedules are regular, and who get to enjoy their weekends together. That being said, I can bear testiment to the statement “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” While Scotter may be the only one who literally jumps up and down when Tom arrives, I typically feel similarly. Tom is my best friends, and I really miss the endless hours we once spent together.
That being said- he’s home! So, I’m off!

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