Brandon is in America right now. His grandfather passed away recently after battling Parkinson's disease for twenty six years. Brandon, who bears his grandfather's name, flew out for the funeral. When you live on the same continent 'flying out for the funeral' means taking a flight (or two) on Friday night, attending the funeral on Saturday, and flying home to return to work on Monday.
But as all of you are very well aware of, we don't live on the same continent. Technically we are the next continent over, going west over the Pacific. So 'flying out for the funeral' here means that, first of all, you have to figure out if the plane flights work out to get you there in time. And then if they do, you have to cobble together a hodge podge of different airlines so that you miss as little work as possible. For this trip, I used frequent flier miles (60,000 + $200 in fees) on United and bought Brandon a one-way ticket there on Turkish airlines ($911) and a one-way ticket back on Somon ($326). Our credit card companies have gotten very twitchy about flights on sketchy airlines to sketchy places, so we ended up purchasing the Turkish ticket through a third-party website and the Somon ticket we had to buy in person at their office. I guess it's less suspicious when you run the actual card.
Once the tickets are bought, then you actually have to get there. Brandon left Thursday morning on the 5 am flight. We got up at 3:15 and I dropped him off the airport at 4. Then he flew to Istanbul, waited seven hours, flew to Houston, and got a hotel for a sixteen hour layover. The next morning he flew out of Houston and arrived in Missouri at one in the afternoon. He got to sleep in the same bed on Friday and Saturday nights. Today he goes back to the airport at six in the evening, flies through Chicago, spend the night in Istanbul, and then I pick him up Tuesday around dinner. If I've done the math, that is eighty hours of traveling for fifty-three hours of time in Missouri. That's pretty bad math if you ask me.
So, while Brandon's been winging halfway around the world the children and I have been hanging out in Dushanbe.
It turns out that Brandon is a pretty good influence on our household, because things haven't exactly run the way they do when I have someone other than the children to be accountable to. I don't like cooking dinner even when Brandon is here, and it turns out that when he's gone I just don't cook dinner.
Thursday night we had cold cereal. Since we didn't have any milk, the children ran to the store and got some. Friday night we had friends over for a movie. I thought briefly about making it and then ordered instead. Saturday night I went out to dinner with friends, so the children had leftover pizza and leftover soda. Today my housekeeper brought over sambusas so we had those with carrot sticks. Because you should have vegetables at least every four or five days. I'm thinking that tomorrow could probably be left overs. Or more cereal.
I finally swept the kitchen floor today when I could see drifts of crumbs and cereal pieces starting to form mounds underneath the kitchen table, and I'm not sure who threw finally away the pizza boxes, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. The children have watched multiple movies and we've all gone to bed a lot later than we're supposed to.
But other than the disarray, we've been able to make the rest of life happen pretty well even without Brandon coming home to make sure that all the children survive until the next day. The children are helpful and I have been doing this mom thing long enough that I can do it reasonably well on my own. The children even got bedtime stories tonight.
This is not to say that we have any plans to be separated for any longer than is absolutely necessary. The kids love their father (who is the fun one in this arrangement), I love my husband, and shockingly, he loves us all back. So we'll be glad when he comes back to us this week. Even if it does mean that I'll have to start making dinner again.