Today my little boy became a man.
OK, not exactly... But he did conquer the swimming test at the YMCA. He jumped in, swam a lap like he was taking a walk and came up victorious. He no longer needs to have Mommy or Daddy within arms reach in the pool...AND...he can go down the water slide!
I wish I had taken a picture of the pride in his big blue eyes as he put on that green I can swim without an adult necklace and went off on his own for the first time ever.
It's the little things in life.
Like the fact that his father, after working nearly three weeks straight with only one day off somewhere in the middle of it all, was there to witness the monumental moment. A part of me thinks he was waiting for his dad to be there because Dad has been working a lot of hours recently.
As most law enforcement families know from experience, the hours are long, the rotations are crummy and the pay leaves a lot to be desired so when overtime comes up it almost feels like a mortal sin not to grab as much as you can.
In the last three weeks, we have managed to snag 56 hours of overtime- a veritable windfall but not the most we have ever done. About five years ago, both of our furnaces and one of our AC units died at the same time to the tune of way more money than we had available. Thank goodness the department was short handed...for over a month he worked double shifts and we were ultimately able to pay cash for the needed utilities.
We have been in an overtime drought for over a year so again, it was almost sinful not to grab up what we could what with a trip to my brother's wedding right around the corner and a few nagging bills begging to be paid off.
My friend and her police officer husband call it blood money.
I laughed when she first said it but after the first two shifts, I understood completely. When he works nine days in a row, we all feel it. The boys miss him, I miss him, my sleep cycle misses him... I have never been much of a sleeper anyway but the insomnia became my best friend when my husband started working the night shift. Nine years ago, the REM cycle as the rest of the world knows it disappeared from my life.
After all this time, I just roll with it. If I can 't sleep I read, work on one of my writing projects....or if I am really wired, sweep and mop the wood floors, clean all the bathrooms and organize a closet or two. I used to check the local news online about every hour or so but I have since replaced that with reading silly articles about celebrity bathing suits or some such nonsense.
The best sleep I have is on the first night of the hubby's off days. His presence in our bed makes me feel more secure than the alarm system and the dog together. I am not afraid to be alone at night. Even when my neighbor thought she saw someone creeping in the backyard, I was not afraid. I just feel better knowing that he is safe at home with us rather than fighting off the demons of the night.
It has been a long three weeks...I won't even try to deny it but I will say that it has made this first weekend together in so long has been pretty nice so far. We, as a family, have learned to enjoy and cherish each other more in the limited time that we are all together...absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the ones you love.