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Home » 9to5to9

You can’t always get what you want

Submitted by on Saturday, 13 February 2010 No Comment
A mere 12 hours after I'd plowed through the top row of a Whitman's Sampler in an attempt to console myself because we wouldn't see Dad for at least six months, my phone rang.

It was 5 a.m., and only one person is audacious enough to brave my bear-like roar at being awakened and call me at that hour.

"Guess what," my husband said. "I just got a text. I can have the leave, but only for four days. Is it worth it?"

I knew we were dealing with differing definitions of "worth it," not in small part because he would be the one who would have to spend a chunk of those four days traveling back and forth. I also knew there were other people he wanted to see when he was in California and the abbreviated schedule would make that impossible without Herculean effort.

"Can they come here?" I asked. "It's better than you flying half the day and then hopping in a car to drive for hours."

"No," he replied. "They said they have things to do."

I bit back the sarcastic remark that fly into my brain about "things to do" and tried to think clearly. "It's still worth it, though, if you get to see the kids. Let me check the prices."

Yikes! $700 for tickets on planes flying at incredibly crappy times. I checked Friday, and there was nothing available late enough to let him sign out after work and still get to the airport on time. I reported back.

"No, we can't afford $700," he said.

A funny thing happened, though, as the day wore on and he grew more and more bummed as his two closest buddies planned last-minute trips to see their families. He realized that even a short amount of time was better than an interminable weekend spent sad and alone. And the ticket price fell. By the time we booked, it was down to $386 - almost $100 less than his original fare.

"Book it," he said.

Yes, there's a lot about the visit that isn't everything he envisioned when we planned it originally. He won't get to see everyone, and he'll get here too late to catch the guys' soccer games.

But he'll get to take them Sunday to the same gym where they play for a little one-on-two tutorial with Dad. And he'll get to share fresh cinnamon rolls and Valentine's Day presents with them before soccerfest. We'll get to cook out on the gas grill that had stubbornly refused to light before he left last month.

No, the trip isn't everything any of us wanted. But it's exactly what all of us needs, particularly in light of what lies ahead.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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