I have been working extra hours since the kids got out of school. Partially to adjust to the extra hours I want to be working as my regular schedule once Audrey is in school; and really because who can't use some extra money, for all the usual reasons?
Anyway, the kids had been gone all week, and I'd struggled with Audrey every day, as she missed the boys terribly and every morning was a chorus of "my brothers" this and "my brothers" that, followed by tears about how much she missed them. It was hard.
Mr W didn't get a big taste of unhappy girl until I left them alone to work on Friday night and Saturday. I worked all day Saturday; I'd gotten in late and stayed later than usual.
Midway through the day, I got a text from Mr W about how Audrey wanted the boys.
Here we go, I thought. I knew what was coming.
"awww" I texted back. Then I got:
"I was thinking we could drive up tomorrow after you get home from work, spend the night and bring them home on Monday."
I was hesitant. I mean, I missed them madly, and it was awful. But I thought it would be better for all of us to miss each other a bit before doing anything rash, like running up there just because.
I called the kids. I could hear in Nolan's voice that he was a little bored, and that he was probably a little homesick. Of course, he admitted nothing. The other kids sounded the same.
I texted back to Mr W, "Are you serious?" to which he replied "We'll talk."
I got home kinda late in the afternoon, about 4:30, 4:45 or so. After I got home, Mr W gave me a little attitude, "Why'd you come home so late?"
I sighed. Sometimes, I don't get him. Yes, he is supportive, 'go to work, do what you need to do' etc. However, while I'm gone, I know he's wondering when I'm coming back,and he is right in that the kids are always wondering when I'm coming home...but it annoys me. I'm not at a party. I'm not out getting into trouble. I'm at work. Let me be.
So rather than pick a fight, I bite my tongue and tell him I got there late, and that I decided to work later today because I didn't do as many hours during my extra days as I wanted as I was coming home so unhappy girl would chill; and I wanted to pad my hours a little in case we were making a drive up to get the boys on Sunday. Deep breath. I was reasonable. He was...surly. Mopey.
I know what that's all about. Fine.
I get the phone, and head to our bedroom, and as I sit next to Mr W on the bed, I hear Nolan answer.
"I miss you alot and I want you to come home." I said, throwing myself under the bus. I'll take this one for the team, I thought.
"Really?" Nolan answered.
I shared Mr W's plan with him, and I could hear the relief in his voice. (Not that he wasn't having fun, they were having a good time, but I knew the bloom was off the rose.)
I handed the phone to Mr W. "Talk to them. I talked to them earlier today."
Mr W shared his idea with all of them, and I could see the shift in his body language as he eased up.
The plan ultimately wound up being that my brother and sister-in-law were going to take the kids on one more hike Sunday afternoon, and they would meet us halfway, in Payson, Sunday evening.
Once we hung up, Mr W became himself again. I teased him: "How well do I know you?" as I joked about his surliness-to-good mood change. We went out to dinner, and he was so much more relaxed, I couldn't help but smile inwardly that he missed the boys that much; that I figured it out before we had a blowout; and that my babies would be home in about 24 hours.
We drove up, my brother was a little bit late, but it worked out. I looked back at Audrey as we were heading home, and even her little body was relaxed--not tense anymore, no more little outbursts--and she was so, so happy.
Life was good. It was a beautiful evening, the sunset was nice coming out of the mountains, the air was warm....
Wait a minute.
The air is warm.
I snuck a look over at Mr W just as he started putting his hand over the air vents, frowning a bit as he adjusted the a/c. A few miles later, we heard a noise that upped the sphincter factor for the evening into 'high alert' and I held my breath, looking at the spedometer and praying it didn't plummet down to nothing. The van kept running, but I still started the "please, just get us home" prayer.
Our air conditioner conked out. Which in Arizona, at this time of year, which Remo so aptly describes (you may want to skip this part) as "ass-gravy weather," lack of a/c is just not an option.
I'm waiting to hear from the repair shop, but I know it's gonna hurt. It's always something.
The kids are home. We were traveling at night and not noon, so the ride was hot, but not HOT. They had a good time, and my kids missed us, too. Ben even said he missed his Dad's "Law-and-order" approach to their well-being.
You should have seen Mr W's face, as he fought the grin, it was priceless.
Everything will be okay. (crossing my fingers)