I have spent the last month in my annual holiday travel planning funk. This always starts sometime around the middle of October and relents by the first few weeks of January. The residual guilt takes time to subside. As expected, the anxiety is reaching fever pitch right about now. We're in the last week of classes, gearing up for finals and the trickle/flood of last-minute "Oh yeah I meant to give you that paper weeks ago. The server must have screwed it up" end of semester irritations. This is the time when my Mom's passive-aggressive questions about Christmas plans are getting more and more impatient. I have told her many times that we DO NOT KNOW YET and still she mentions "Your aunt asked when you were coming home for Christmas yesterday at church". Grrrr.
That particular one always gets me. I have never lived where my parents currently live. I did not grow up there or spend any significant time there as a child. They moved when I was in graduate school. That is not my home. In spite of this, my entire family always asks the "when you coming?" question in this way. "When are you coming home for blah, blah, blah."? Drives me crazy. Really.
All of it is terribly predictable and just as terribly exhausting.
This year all of it seems to be worse for a few good (I think) reasons:
- My wife has yet to work out a holiday call schedule with the two other fellows in her section. This is ridiculously late in my view, but I'm trying to be patient bc the main reason this hasn't happened is bc neither of the other guys have jobs yet. This means that the three of them are never all at work (or in the same state for that matter) at the same time, as the guys seem to interview every week. Is this real I wonder? Could they possibly be interviewing this much and getting nothing? This "the guys are never at work" thing also means that my wife works ALL.THE.TIME covering for them. I think they would do the same for her if she needed to interview, but man. It blows.
- We want to get another FET in before the lab closes around Christmas time. It usually takes some time with the estrogen to get her lining appropriately thickened and this makes me wonder if we won't be skidding in for transfer on the last possible day. If we do that, air travel will be tricky for a few reasons. One, TTC plans are always subject to change and airline ticketing is not so consistent with that.
- Both of us are tired. Spending the one week that my wife will get off work traveling to Mississippi to visit my parents makes me even more tired. I feel horrible writing that, but it's the truth.
The worst part of the whole thing is that if we DO make it and manage to wrangle a few days of family togetherness, it will not be enough. It is never enough. There will be scattered comments related to how we'll have to make it longer next time and if only we had more time we could x, y, z. Yes I am grateful that my parents love me and want to spend time with me, but what I wouldn't give for just one sibling to split the focus. The only child gig is not an easy one. Of course, my wife has a brother and she has scars from that as well, so who knows?