Normality returned today. Son 1 had his first day back at school (and was secretly quite excited) and I went back to work with a hop and a skip.
DH, meanwhile, has some time off, due to a runway being closed at Dubai International airport. I say ‘time off’, but we all know what staying home means in reality – school drop-offs, pick-ups, homework, refereeing small children, feeding time at the zoo. You get the gist.
For me, knowing that DH is home while I’m at work is such a relief. I worry less about the boys driving our helper to distraction, and I know he’ll deal with any problems that arise.
I’m well aware, though, that pilots aren’t the kind of guys who can happily spend time picking the fluff from their toenails. Plucked from a life of world travel, luxury hotels, far-flung cities and telly in bed, it must be quite a shock to suddenly find yourself grounded in a houseful of children with a to-do list as long as your arm.
So I was pleased when DH announced this morning that he was going wakeboarding for an hour on the ocean with his brother.
But that wasn’t what I heard about when I got home.
No, it was the shoes he’d bought that he told me all about.
Let me just say first that DH has no interest in shoes at all – I’m not sure if he’d know the difference between a pair bought from Payless and the designer brands stocked in Saks Fifth Avenue. He looks at my shoe collection as though I’ve been breeding them uncontrollably, and mostly wears flip-flops himself. So you can imagine my surprise when he texted to say he’d bought some Italian shoes.
“Wow,” I replied. “Are they pointy?”
No, he responded. He definitely draws the line at pointy, but it seems a chance encounter with a dapper, suited-and-booted shoe salesman piqued his interest.
“This really well-dressed Italian man asked me for directions to Emirates Road, then said he’d just opened a new shoe shop and had some really nice samples in his car to give away before leaving the country,” DH explained later.
“He said I could have a pair if I gave him a small donation towards buying his wife some perfume in Duty Free.”
$100 later (yes, US dollars), and DH was in proud possession of a stylish pair of black patent leather lace-ups with tobacco-brown buffed leather soles.
I admired how shiny they were and stroked the contoured toes (you could see your face in them they were so glossy) – while wondering what on earth had come over DH.
“They’ll be perfect for the ball we’re going to soon,” he remarked.
“Mmmm,” I replied, “they’re great”, and I thought to myself, “Not in a month of Sundays did I expect DH to buy shoes for the pilots’ ball before me.”
I wonder what tomorrow will bring for my stay-at-home aviator.