I've only got 3 watches to go here on HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/ . Unlike last year, when weather delayed me enough to miss Christmas, I should be home with a couple of days' grace to run the final stretch until Christmas. My son being 18, and me being home for the holidays only once every 3 years, this will likely be the last Christmas before we hit the Empty Nest phase, so Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I planned a good Christmas...
But you know that thing about the Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men?
So, once our kid was 16, Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife rejoined the workforce and got into the healthcare field, quickly rising to a home care manager for Alzheimer's care, as she has a particular warmth that lends itself to working with kids with autism or cerebral palsy, and elderly folks with Alzheimer's and dementia. I'm obviously very proud of her- the emotional cost of that sort of thing could very easily deaden the lightest of hearts, but she thrives in it.
Unfortunately, she lost some employees this month, and fired a management-level helper, so she's going to be putting in a 90 hour week this week. For the first time in our relationship, I will be having to enjoy Christmas while working around HER schedule. This is obviously weird for us. I mean, I think that this is only our 5th or 6th Christmas together, because of my job, and I'll be home, while she'll be home only for 6-8 hour blocks here and there.
In the meanwhile, though, we have family flying in to visit, and my brother, sister and nephew are only a few minutes down the road, so we're going to have I think 9-12 people for Christmas dinner, which will be on the 27th. We'll be doing our own nuclear family's Christmas Brazilian style this year to accommodate my wife's schedule... which means opening presents at Midnight on the 25th, having wine and good but unhealthy appetizers all the while to keep us awake. In the meanwhile, though, I'm just happy to have some time with family. As I age, I appear to be suffering from homesickness and sentimentality more and more.