Sunday, April 9, 2017

Reflections on 10 Years in Commercial Aviation

Ten years ago today, Trevor began his career at Atlantic Southeast Airlines. We've been through so much in that time. We were long distance for over two years before our wedding in 2009.  In 2011, we bought a house and ASA merged with another airline, becoming ExpressJet. In late 2013, we added our two cats to the family, I was offered a job at a middle school, and Trevor was offered a position at Spirit Airlines. He began training in February 2014, and six months later, we found out we were having Hudson, who was born in April 2015. This spring, Trevor completed training to become a captain at Spirit, and he will be officially signed off later this week. During all this, each of the companies he has worked for have had intense contract negotiations that went on for years. It's been going on for about two years at the company he is currently working for.

In the past ten years, we've had the opportunity to travel to Chicago (where Trevor proposed), Jamaica (our honeymoon), Hawaii, New Hampshire, Houston, Omaha, Jacksonville, Dothan, Maine, Connecticut, Michigan, Philadelphia, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Some of these less exotic vacations were times when I (and later Hudson) joined Trevor on his overnights, some were visits to family and friends, and some were traveling just for fun.

While most people look at Trevor's schedule and think, "Wow, he's gone a lot," the truth is, he is home a lot, too. He missed just two of my prenatal appointments when we were expecting Hudson, and both were circumstances where either his schedule changed at the last minute or the clinic had to reschedule my appointment. He was home with me for over a week before Hudson was born, and he didn't return to work until nearly a month after Hudson's birth. Trevor is home with us four days a week, so he has missed very few of Hudson's firsts.

Relationships outside of our family are sometimes tough to maintain, though. I often have to tell friends that I can't join them because Trevor is out of town and there's no one to watch Hudson...or I have to tell them that Trevor IS home, but I don't want to squander his one or two days that he is home (this is actually quite rare because he generally has at least four days off between trips, but there are times when this contract provision doesn't apply). I'm finding more and more that it's difficult to relate to people whose husbands are home every night.  When we are able to get together with friends, the first ones that come to mind are the friends in the aviation industry, and our long-time church friends who understand our lifestyle because they've been doing life with us for so many years that they know all about the joys and struggles of being married to a pilot.

Trevor will turn 35 later this year. That means that he will spend 30 more years in the airline industry, as long as nothing changes (mandatory retirement age is 65, and it literally was an act of Congress that set this age limit). I'm looking forward to what the next 30 years will bring. I have no idea what adventures await us. We could be traveling more. We could make a cross country move. Trevor could end up at another airline. We could even see Hudson begin an aviation career in the next 30 years. After all, Trevor was 24 when he began his airline career. Who knows?

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