Come Fly with Me
Come Fly With Me
I work for the airlines, and I love it. I love it so much in fact that I work in an entirely different state than where I live. It turns out juggling a family with special needs wasn’t challenging me. So I threw commuting across the country into the mix, which feels like trying to pass AP calculus when you are an ENGLISH major. If you work for the airlines, living in a different place than you work is very common. However, if your carreer does not involve flying the friendly skies , the logistics can be confusing, and even overwhelming.
”Wait, did you say you have to catch a flight to work?” a new acquaintance will ask, blinking.
I used to live a relatively boring life (wink wink) until my husband decided he should take a job in another state. Something about the economy tanking and the kids don’t want to “camp” under the underpass. Divas right? So he moved from our house in Jackson, Wyoming to San Antonio,Texas. As a side note the stars at night are actually bigger and brighter in Wyoming than deep in the heart of Texas, but I think that’s just because of light pollution.
The biggest reason Russ moved before the rest of us has to do change. Change in his living status; meaning I was probably going to murder him in his sleep. Unemployment can be stressful on a marriage. So can breathing. Stop judging me! Also being married an be stressful on a marriage. But in the end that would have been too much change; change can be challenging for anyone. Change for the autistic, however, can be devastating. And change for the autistic child’s parents is actually a form of torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention. So to avoid waterboarding, I decided to let Russ live, he did however move and commuted home. Which yes…ding ding ding, that also constitutes change…but seemed the lesser of the two evils initially. Eventually I realized waterboarding might be preferable to being a single parent, which was it’s own form of torture. But I’d have to say the real selling point for me to move to Texas, was when I learned they have cinnamon rolls the size of your head at a place called Lu Lus. So duh, we all moved to the Lone Star state, and then I was the one committed. Sorry, Freudian slip. I meant to say commuting.
The only reason we’ve been able to make this work is because my job is part time seasonal. In a nutshell I only have to work 24 hours in a two week period for eight months out of the year. This can easily be accomplished by working every other weekend. My family flies for free, which means we can fly to exotic places like the University of Utah Autism Clinic to do brain mapping. Also, my job pays me. In actual cash. It used to be goldfish crackers but the union took care of that. The hard cold cash comes in handy to buy exotic things like…bread, which we need since my husband is a teacher. In our defense, we did decide on careers back when we first got married in college (insert audible gasp) before our brains were fully developed. We had some malformed idea about poverty being worth the fulfillment found in changing lives through education 🙂 The upside to Russ being a teacher (besides the 17 bottles of white out rolling around in my junk draw) is his schedule allows him to get home the same time as our boys.
My kids have spent a chunk of their summers in Jackson and enjoy the continuity of having their mountain home still be a part of their life. However, I think the most important reason they are all onboard for my continued commute, is because they like having me gone. That way they can be men without some crazy woman telling them to do things like, “Use soap when you shower,” “No ice-cream for breakfast.” “Don’t shoot the slingshot in the house!” (That one was for Russ). And “Put your pants on before you take the trash out.” (Also Russ). There is NO pleasing me! Basically my bimonthly departure is their reprieve from the terrors of womanhood. It allows them to root around in their natural hamster cage habitat, where they can reenact fight club (the first rule of fight club never tell your mother what goes on in fight club) without the consequence of someone telling you to put your shirt back on and stop kicking your brother. It’s a win win.
Plus, I love the job, the people I work with and the opportunity for personal growth. For example, I get to work on my PA voice in case I ever need to take a job as a 1-900 operator. I satisfy my craving for high fashion by dressing in those snappy polyester uniforms. And finally, I’ve been able to attend extensive training where I learn helpful customer service skills about how to be a human. Pointers include, smile more and don’t smack the passengers on the back of the head as they board.
But in truth, I have to confess that the there is a certain appeal to the small window of time when I’m airborne and unavailable; making it impossible to take calls from the school. But don’t worry, there is a message waiting for me when I land, the secretary telling me my child has come to school dressed in my white bathrobe. I call the Administrator back, and explain that obviously Logan was just using it to cover up his boxers. I ask her to put him on the line, then I tell him, “Dude, the second rule of fight club is there is no fight club at school.”
“Ok” he says, and hands the phone back to the administrator.
“Ok” I say to the administrator as I run through the airport to catch my connection. “Problem solved!”