The Not-So-Jolly Emotions of a Pilot’s Wife at Christmas
When my girls were twelve and seven, they were taking ballet for a season. As the holidays approached, they had been practicing several routines for the big Christmas event.
As excited as I was to see my girls perform, a growing anxiety rose within as I knew what would be required of me. There was only one of me, but there were two girls, two different dances, two costume changes, and two hair prep demands.
With Jeff working I wondered, how would I get it all done?
When the big day arrived, I tried to balance my husband being gone and my parents’ arrival with the demands of getting the girls’ hair and makeup ready and a two-year-old needing a nap.
Needless to say, girlfriend, I was not in a jingle-bell Christmas spirit! All I really wanted was some quiet, and a have glass of wine!
Finding a seat of cheer
When I arrived at the Hall, I took the girls to their designated places for the performance.
They were excited as well as my son.
When the girls settled, I needed to find a table that would allow me to take pictures and have enough chairs for my parents and Jeff when they arrived. As the world slowed down, I felt as if a plane of loneliness had flown over me. All I wanted to do was take off.
To overcome my loneliness, I looked for tables with people who seemed friendly or for the familiar face of a mom from the ballet studio.
I don’t know about you, but when I am in a crowd of people, and by myself, it’s not fun.
When I finally found a place to sit, I was greeted with kindness and smiles. It was easy to find common ground for conversation as we talked about who are children were and which performance they would be in. At one point someone asked my son, Tobin, “Where is daddy?” In true two-year-old fashion, Tobin replied, “Daddy, plane.”
Funny how those two little words opened the door to all the familiar questions”…Oh, he is a pilot? How many days is he gone? Does he fly the same route? Do you get to travel a lot?
Usually, I can handle those questions, but at this time of the season, I just couldn’t.
As I sat there with my new friends and answered their questions about my absent husband, all I wanted to do was to take-off somewhere else. That’s not always easy to do in a season that’s supposed to be all wrapped up in joy.
When you’re a pilot’s wife, taking care of it all during the holidays, some of the feelings you have wrapped up aren’t always pretty and sweet.
- A gift bag of frustrations because I have to do so much by myself.
- A box of comparison and jealousy when I see other families laughing and carrying on about their plans for Christmas,
- *A stocking full of loneliness.
Unwrapping the Emotions of the Holidays
I’ve been flying this Christmas route for years, and I’ve learned that those wrapped up emotions are honest emotions.
So how do I carefully unwrap those feelings, so they don’t pour out on everyone else?
1. I remind myself that God knows my struggles and frustrations, and he offers me support and wisdom to handle those difficult times.
2. I take comfort in knowing that God has equipped me with confidence and encouragement in areas where I feel as if “their” Christmas tree is greener and shinier than mine.
3. I trust that I’m not alone. I may feel lonely, but in truth, God is with me every step of the way.
4. I try to find comfort and joy in all circumstances and focus on the blessings I have: a smile, a wave from the stage or a little boy laying his head on my shoulder. Most importantly, I have a husband who loves me and wants to be there for recitals and events. Even if he is a little late.
Recently, I asked my girls if they remember their dad being at their Christmas program. They don’t recall their dad showing up late. What they remember is their dad giving them hugs and kisses after their performance. Both of them said, “Of course, he was there!”
Looking back now, I have to admit, that day was fun. I was proud of my girls, and my heart was full love and joy watching them on stage.
I know first hand that this time of the season I experience a multiple of emotions and challenges of being a pilot wife. I have to continually remind myself to be open for unexpected bumps, detours, and even late arrivals.
A Shoe for the season
So what type of shoe should we pilots’ wives slip on to feel secure, confident, and not-so-alone during this holiday season?
Personally, I love a canvas Ked sneaker.
Because canvas is a durable fabric. It’s tough, and it withstands a lot of things.
How appropriate since the Keds company motto is, “To empower women to be who they want to be and go where they want to go.”
Wow! Isn’t that like us as pilot’s wives to feel empowered and strong, especially during this, or any season?
I also love how versatile a canvas Ked can be: festive and sparkly or just plain white. It’s the kind of shoe that can take you from day to night, so you’re ready for anything. It’s also the perfect shoe to chase a 2 yr-old around while suddenly stopping to watch your girls on stage.
There’s no doubt I need that type of shoe during the holiday season!I
Decorating my canvas Ked
If I were to decorate my Keds, I would add a little glitter and color but, I would also paint a verse on each one.
On one side, I would have “I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me.”
( Philippians 4:13 NIV) The other shoe I would paint, “The steps of the godly are directed… He delights in every detail of their lives. ( Psalm 37:23 NLT)
These verses comfort me as I am easily distracted when things get off course, or I find myself getting lost in all the events, i.e., performances, parties, etc. They are my reminder that God is watching over me, and directing my steps.
You and I just need to trust him!
This season let’s remember that God knows what we are doing at all times. From juggling our kids’ activities to feeling alone in a crowd and to the frustrations and overwhelming feelings of trying to do it all.
After all, isn’t He the one who designs our shoes for whatever flies into our path?
How would you decorate your holiday Keds? Leave a comment below, and let’s share what sort of Keds we’re wearing this Christmas.
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