As the Labor Day weekend approaches here in Chucktown, most people think of sunshine, beaches, and grilling out with family and friends to unofficially mark the end of summer. Many will head out to the beach to spend another weekend in the sun and surf. Others will pull out the grill and spend the afternoon grilling corn on the cob and burning animal flesh. Back home in Cincinnati, a local radio station will be putting on the biggest fireworks display of the year from a barge right on the Ohio River. Games will be played, adult beverages will be consumed and memories will be made.
Unfortunately, our wolfpack will probably be doing nothing of the sort. Mommy B is scheduled to pack up Alli and fly them both back to Ohio on Tuesday, which means she's scheduled to work on Sunday and Monday to try and get her hours in before she takes off for the rest of the week. I'll actually be joining her at the end of the week for a wedding in Columbus, then we'll be flying back together on Sunday. This really stinks for a couple reasons...
First, we've missed a lot of holidays since moving down here. My company gets all national holidays off... but there are no holidays in the eyes of a doctor or nurse. As the husband of the latter, I knew this was part of the deal and tried to prepare myself accordingly. I knew there would be New Year's Eves cut short because Mommy B had to work the next day, or Memorial Days I had to spend alone because I was off and Mommy B wasn't.
Over the past few years, this situation has led to an unfortunate feeling of numbness in me anytime another national holiday draws near. People at work would ask me if I had any cool plans for the long holiday weekend, and I would somberly reply with, "No, my wife is working. I'll be spending it alone." Some would try to cheer me up by saying, "Well that means you can just relax on the couch all day, right?" Wrong.
For those of you that know me, I'm not exactly the sit-at-home-and-veg-on-the-couch-all-day type. I believe there was one December 26th a couple years ago where I came to the gym at work just to get out of the house. I couldn't stand flipping through endless commercials showing happy families getting to enjoy the holidays like they were meant to be enjoyed. And now that we have a child, the word "relax" is only exchanged between Mommy B and I to avoid the pulling out of one's own hair. Before we had Alli, it had basically gotten to the point where I no longer saw it as a holiday, but just another day I didn't have to go into work - which is pretty sad.
Of course, it doesn't help that we don't have any family here that I could spend the day with while she was working. It would be one thing if Mommy B went off to work and I could just go spend the day with family, but she is my only family within a nine-hour drive. And furthermore, it might just make things worse because then she would be the only one missing out on the fun.
Now that we have Alli, I at least have more company besides our ever-faithful dog Scarlett. But a needy infant isn't exactly the type of company I'm looking for on a gorgeous Labor Day weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my daughter more than anything in the world... but the thought of playing single parent from sun up to sun down for two straight days when we should be spending it as a family really bums me out.
I'm not sure how I'm going to entertain her for two straight days when most establishments are closed and everyone else will be either out of town or busy with their own family. I thought the whole idea of giving people the day off for a holiday was so they could spend it with the people who are important to them and recharge their batteries. That's a negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.
Then, to add insult to injury, Mommy B will then be turning around and leaving Tuesday morning and taking my only human companion with her. So I basically won't see my wife for six days, and will go from spending every second with my child to not seeing her at all for four days. Again, people are trying to cheer me up by reminding me that I'll finally get some "me time" while they're gone.
I don't want "me time"... I want "us time". I guess you can just chalk it up as another case of the holiday blues...