Better Together

Last updated: March 7th, 2023 | Originally published: March 7, 2023
Better Together

Long time, no write. I’ve been busy. The kids and I are back in San Antonio, in preparation of weaning Parker into adulthood. He graduates early — this Friday — and then will turn 18 next month. It’s crazy to think of how much preparation and planning has gone in to making this transition happen, and now we are here! 

Since coming “home”, everyone is happier. For the first few days, the kids didn’t really leave their rooms. They were decompressing. I’ve never allowed them to have a tv in their rooms, but all three of them have one now. We’re in a tiny house: 1150 sq. ft, 3 bed / 2 bath. Although it’s small, it feels huge to us after living in the rig and hotel rooms for the last year and a half. 

We entered my kids’ birthday season last Saturday

This is the time of year where all three of my youngest have birthdays within a six-week window.

Better Together

We celebrated Apollo’s 16th birthday by cramming 10 smelly teenagers into our tiny house for an evening of football and video games. It was a lot of fun and Apollo felt the birthday love. That’s definitely a perk of being where the kids have friends. 

I really didn’t know how I would feel moving back into our San Antonio home. Would I ever want to leave again? Would the stability of home life be so overpowering that moving back to our big, view property in Seattle would sound like a good idea? What if the kids dig in their heels and say we’re never leaving San Antonio because of their friends?

Well, as good as its been these past couple of weeks, and despite the fact I still have a lot of work ahead to get Parker ready for independent living, I am officially ready to go back out on the road. After a one month reprieve, I could leave here totally rejuvenated and ready for more adventures.

Our family is much better together.

The kids need a little more time,

Which works well with Parker’s timeline.

Another big transisiton we made was putting our kids back into their online public school. The hubs and I have very different “teaching” styles, and this was a huge source of contention between us. I felt the pressure to meet his scholastic expectations, and he felt frustrated at my hippy homeschool laxitude. The kids were caught in the middle.

Halea figured out how to manipulate what she wanted my pitting us against each other. So, we’re done with that. We will continue to road school our kids, giving them experiences based on our specific location — museums, landmarks, culture, etc. — but giving them teachers that aren’t me has been a huge positive development for every one of us.

The hardest part of the transition has been not having my sweetheart with me. He’s working one last contract in Salt Lake City. He’s managed to fly to San Antonio twice since returning it started three weeks ago, which is wonderful. He will come home one more time in two weeks for Halea’s birthday, and then we will go a full month without a visit. That will be a hard stretch. 

We kicked off this new chapter of separation by fighting over the phone the day before Valentine’s Day. It was our worst Valentine’s Day ever. I didn’t even care he sent me flowers (ordered before the fight). He came home a couple days later and all was forgiven/forgotten.

The second alone period was better. I cherished our time more.

Better Together

When Ryan and I met, I was a single mom of two little boys.

I was living independently, working to support myself and my sons, actually being an adult. I was 27.

Over the last seventeen years, I’ve grown more and more dependent on my sweetheart. He makes all of our income, and I spend most of it. Any phone call I don’t want to make, or appointment I don’t want to set, he does it. He will do anything I ask him to. It’s a very comfortable life I’ve cultivated for myself.

But I felt this strain that I really needed to find my independence again. If something horrible happened and I could no longer rely on my sweetheart, it would be a really ugly transition to have to re-learn how to make phone calls to strangers again, and support myself and our kids on top of that. So, this month of independence has been good for me.

I hope that after three months of independent living, I won’t settle back into my comfortable role of “Honey, do this, and honey, do that”. 

Better Together
Ryan found this attached to his bag this morning before the flight to SLC.

This transisiton has been the hardest on my sweetheart.

He’s working full time, grocery shopping, cooking for himself (in a hotel), tidying the room, and laundering his own clothing, all while missing his family. He’s mentioned a couple of times that he has increased empathy for single moms. They work, cook, clean, do the laundry, AND raise kids. I love that his empathy goes there.

On top of taking care of himself, he’s traveling every ten days to see us. He does it because he misses us, but it takes a toll. I pick him up late on Friday night, and we get him until I take him back to the airport on Tuesday. Then he works seven of eight days, then he flies back. The last time he flew home, his last leg of flight was cancelled, and he ended up driving from Las Vegas to SLC. He got to the hotel at 3 AM, and showed up to work a few hours later on zero sleep.

A few days later he had a minor day surgery to remove a lipoma from the back of his head, but turned out to be a much more arduous surgery, done with local anesthesia. The healing is still happening ~ I ended up doctoring him as his stitches opened up this weekend. I put him on his flight home with two bandaids to catch the blood that is still oozing from the back of his head.

He’s definitely having the rougher time between the two of us. 

Ryan and Monica — Better Together

We saw this reprieve from the road as something that had to happen, especially in the head space I was in the last six months. The kids are not looking forward to leaving again, but I’m hopeful that offloading an unhappy Parker and one of our dogs will make road life better. We are looking at nursing assignments within a one-day-drive of San Antonio so I can be there for Parker if he needs help.

This transition has shown me that Ryan and I really are better together. Not that I doubted it, but I’m grateful that I can see it so clearly. Missing him does something to me. I don’t ever want to be without him and he feels the same way.

Thanks for reading, y’all! If you want to know more about what’s been going on in our crazy life, here’s the last post.

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