Jena's post here reminded me of the Engineer's early traveling days. I often look back on them and think, I only survived those years through the grace of God!
We moved into our home in the country when Bub was nine months -- so summer of 1997. I'm pretty sure the Engineer started traveling that same fall. It wasn't until the fall of '04 that the traveling pretty much stopped and he began working ten hour days. In some ways those were not good years. I remember being so frustrated that all I wanted to do was cry. Leaking toilets, leaking pumps, flooded basements, leaking ceilings, barfing children, migraines, you name it, I likely experienced it. I can remember one time being one catastrophe (in my sleep deprived mind anyway) away from pounding a for sale sign in the front lawn.
What I hated was going into the city for any appointments. Paid parking, cramped parking lots, and long walks with kids in tow and one in a carrier was just too much stress. I almost get a headache thinking of it, but thankfully that time is long passed.
Ironically, homeschooling came about simply because of my travellin' man -- well, that and that God wanted us to. There was a period of time where it looked like we might be moving to Mexico so the Engineer could help design build a new plant, but we would be living in either Houston or Los Angles first to work out the preliminary part of the project. This news came at the beginning of January 2005 and by the end of April after lots of prayer, reading, and research, the brunt of our homeschool curriculum was chosen and purchased -- only for the project to fall through in August. At this point we knew it was God's plan for us to homeschool our children. So we did, but it was a rocky first seven months. Basically, it was the children and I. The Engineer was at the height of a huge project (the same one that had previously had him traveling so much). He was at work six to seven days straight for a minimum of fourteen hours a day. When he was home, he was physically here, but not mentally. It was a crazy time. Again, simply through the grace of God we all got through it because I was truly beginning to wonder if our marriage was going to last. Thank the Lord it did and is stronger than ever!
After the eventual completion of that project, life got back to a new normal and we were able to spend some extra time together as a family -- greatly in part to the fact that we were homeschooling. What a gift it was for us!
Now he's been traveling off and on for about a year again. It's less frequent, the kids are older, and I'm so busy taxiing children and keeping things going at home that I fall into bed at night exhausted. A week goes by so quickly that before I know it, he's home again. Any household catastrophes are minimalised because I've already done it all :o). Besides,while the Engineer is traveling, I've already mentally prepared myself for the kitchen sink to crash into the cupboard as the counter top around the tap continues to rot away, or for the dining room window to fall in or out out of the house as the windowsill finally rots through all the way . I just hope it's not negative 15 degrees Celsius when it happens. I'll be a little too chilly in the house for my liking then :oD.
Only a couple more business trips for him, and then we'll make a great big life changing one together to the Philippines :oD!!