Then we start thumbing through the calendar, figuring out when we're working and when we'll be home for the next eight or nine or 12 months.
Knowing that this, too, could change, but perhaps will not.
Oh, July 4th off -- good! Damn, I'll be on the boat for Thanksgiving And Christmas? Oh well ...
Honey, I'll send flowers for our anniversary and make it up to you when I get home. Really, I will.
When I started with the new company, I proposed a couple of start dates that would let me take a long-planned vacation with my wife.
That didn't do anything for their pressing need for another captain NOW, but -- happily -- true to their advertised emphasis on working with employees to make sure they don't miss important family events, they got that week covered.
I got an extra week off, someone else got an extra week of pay. In the morning I go back to work and he goes home for a week of recuperation. I talked to him earlier today and he's ready.
In the meantime, I got the week away with the wife -- not the one we planned (I have a huge credit with United Airlines now, and a modest one with a very nice hotel in Cabo San Lucas) but salutary nonetheless.
I also made it to my cousins' 25th wedding anniversary which morphed into a very nice family reunion at the beach in the South Texas town where I grew up (and where much of the family still lives).
And we celebrated the middle child's third birthday, which according to his birth certificate is this coming Friday, but according to Daddy's work schedule was Sunday.
So anyhow, we drank a lot of cocktails. Got sunburned. Held hands. Listened to music. Saw some old friends and made some new ones. Caught up with the extended family.
I packed for work before we left, so now all that remains is to eat supper, play with the kids and read them to bed, catch a quick nap and get up at midnight to start the drive to Louisiana.