Back around Thanksgiving we got notified that Matt would need to travel out of the country for work. We were all pretty bummed about it. I mean, he’s travelled before so it’s not the end of the world. He used to travel about once a month for his job. In fact that was one of the factors that played into the decision to have me leave my job. It was extremely stressful to work a full time job and take care of all three kids when matt would be gone so often. The funny thing is, he changed jobs just a few months after I stopped working and hasn’t travelled in almost 14 months.
It wasn’t really the travel itself that was bumming us out, we’d done it before and could easily do it again. No, this time it was the length of time that he would be gone. For as long as I’ve known him, every single business trip went the exact same way. He’d fly out on Monday, be gone Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and fly home Friday. Depending on how early he left Monday or how late he got home Friday it would only feel like he was gone about 4 days.
But for this trip he would have to be gone for two weeks. Well 12 days to be precise. He’d have to fly out Sunday instead of Monday, and he’d have to stay through the weekend and fly home the following Friday. In the entire time I’ve been with Matt, from dating on forward, we have never spent that much time apart from one another. Then to add insult to injury we found out he’d be leaving for his trip on January 5. Meaning that he would be gone on Brendan’s birthday.
Bummed as we all were, it was a trip for work and moping about it wasn’t going to change anything. So we just went to work getting him ready to go out of the country and getting him packed for the lengthy stay. Finally, the weekend that he was due to leave arrived. There was a hockey game on that Saturday, but as Matt was leaving the house around 3:30 Sunday morning I sold my ticket so I could spend his last few hours at home with him.
In fact we made plans to turn Saturday into Daddy Day. Matt had made plans to spend some one on one time with each of us that day doing activities that each person liked best. Kaylee was the most difficult. She doesn’t really have just one thing that she likes to do and getting her to tell him what she wanted to do was like pulling teeth. So finally he just got down on the floor with her and played whatever she happened to be playing. He showered his individual attention on her for more than an hour before moving on to the boys.
With Cameron he turned on the Xbox and played Skylanders. Cameron loves to play Skylanders but when he and Brendan play together Brendan pretty much takes control and forces Cameron to do follow his orders. We try to intervene, but a lot of the time Cameron just doesn’t fight it. So Matt pretty much let Cameron dictate what they were going to do. They too spent a little more than an hour killing off Chompy’s and doing all they could to ruin Kaos’s plan to take over Skyland.
Originally Matt planned to play Skylanders with Brendan as well, but a couple of things changed that. For starters Brendan was grounded from video games. Now we could have made an exception for the day to allow him to play them, but as it turns out Brendan wanted to do something else instead. Brendan has recently gotten into a new hobby called Warhammer. The best way to explain it is it’s like the game of Risk except instead of using a game board and little plastic pieces to represent your army, you use a large table surface and actual army models such as tanks, airplane, and troops. Brendan loves the hobby because he gets to spend time with daddy building the models and then painting them.
Brendan’s army is fairly small because he’s pretty new to the hobby and the models aren’t exactly cheap. But what he wanted to do was have a small skirmish with Matt for his daddy time. Matt obliged him, and the two of them spent a good couple of hours devising the best strategy to take out the others forces. The game ended in a tie with neither one of them having much of a force left to take out the other, but to them it was a satisfying end to a hard fought battle.
After a long and busy day making all of these things happen for the kids, Matt and I fell exhausted into our bed and spent some quality time together snuggled under the blankets watching The Big Bang Theory. Exciting? No, not really. But for us it was enough to carry us through 12 long days apart.