Friday, February 7, 2014

Marriage and the Fire Service

When your spouse is a firefighter, you find yourself married to the fire service as well.  At a bare minimum, you are indeed married to their schedule.  Sometimes you are married to their crew as well, because they are indeed his other family.

This week has been an especially crazy week.  I had an IEP that took me out of 3 classes, I covered 2 other days during my prep hour.  I had a meeting with our community leaders regarding a HUGE community service project we are launching through my classes, in partnership with UWM and several community organizations.  And then there is chess and judo and the auxiliary meeting that I couldn't keep my eyes opne long enough to go to.  I also have to analyze data to find out why I am failing to meet the needs of  my children at work, which is stressful in and of itself.  We don't have a PO or Vacation day to come for weeks, yet.  The laundry is mounding, the dogs are missing their people and acting like wild animals and I can't sleep at night.

How does this all come back to the fire service?

Yesterday the agreement was that J would come up to my room when dropping the boys off for the chess meet at our school to grab some stuff (Which, btw, both boys did an AMAZING job with.  B won his match in like 15 moves and N found himself down very early on and FOUGHT his way back to a win after a near 2 hour match!)  He called me and said, "Meet me downstairs and bring your jacket."  


I grumbled as I pulled myself away from my data, which was telling me that I was SUCH a horrible teacher.  Grumbled as I walked down to where his car was.  Greeted my boys and tossed them my classroom keys to stash their jackets and grumbled some more as I climbed through a snow bank to get over to the passenger side of the car.  
9 kids that are reading at or above level...sigh
He smiled oh so sweetly and brightly at my gnashing of teeth and said, "We're going to our bar and having dinner with the girls."  And I grumbled some more.

Until I realized that I was not going to be able to really see him for a bit.  We were definitely on a course for ships passing in the night. We would be parting ways after dinner so he could take the girls to judo.  I would most be drooling on myself upon their arrival back at the domicile.  I would get up and go to work in the morning.  Rush home and take all the kids to the family dance at their school (which my lovely FF has absolved me of!!  SO SWEET!).  Clean up after the dance because B is on the committee running it.  Toss everyone in the shower and into the PJs (The wiggly bodies, probably still a bit damp.) And then Saturday he is back on shift and I have a morning of swimming lessons and an afternoon of birthday parties.

This was our one shot.  

So we talked and laughed and ate the yummiest bar food ever.  

And then I kissed him goodbye when he dropped me back off.  Came up to my room of chess geeks and gnashed my teeth at the data...putting it away while they all told me about their matches and eagerly awaited the updates on N's match.

It was the needed interruption for my sanity.

The fire service rules your life.  Embrace it or don't, it will always be looming there, ready to steal family time from you.  So, you need to make family time where you can.  Even if it is with only half of your kids...having dinner at a local bar...for an hour.  We were together.  With this schedule and the kids' active lives, sometimes it seems as though we clearly don't get enough time.  So we need to take what we can get.
wow...amazing what 18mos. does!
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