Having grown up the son of an airline pilot, I can say that yea, they see their families plenty.
Pop wasn't around for EVERYTHING. But whose dad is? He missed some holidays here and there, most often when he'd switched companies, or upgraded. Basically, when he'd moved down on the seniority list, we could expect he'd be gone for the good stuff. But he was always around when it mattered the most, he made SURE of that. He was real good at juggling holidays. He'd work Thanksgiving and Easter to make sure he didn't have to miss Christmas. Come to think of it, I don't remember him missing many holidays at all. Just a few here and there.
The thing I remember most about growing up the son of an airline pilot was the fact that he could never commit to coaching my baseball teams. I wanted him to coach my baseball teams so badly. And we're talking many, many years ago. But because his schedule was sporadic, he could never commit. But man, I'll be darned if he didn't go to every single practice and game that he was home for. He more than made up for it.
Something else I remember is the way my Mom would use his being gone to her advantage. Oh boy... if we didn't behave... all she had to do was give us the glare, and say, "You just wait until your father comes home." We'd be sent to our rooms, and we'd be on our best behavior till Dad got home, just HOPING Mom forgot to mention how bad we'd been. Otherwise...
And now that I'm 26, and looking to follow in his footsteps, it's become a lot easier to understand what he went through as both a man with a family, and a pilot. These days, it's not me I worry about. But I know my Mom misses him when he's gone. I can telll she's looking forward to that magical number 60, as is he. She loves the fact that he loves what he does, and so does he, and I don't think they would trade their lives paths for anything, but the closer to retirement they get, the more excited they both seem to become.
He's made his family a fantastic living, and a great lifestyle. He's taught both my brother and I how to live responsibly yet happily, and will continue to teach us both as we follow the path to our dreams of being airline pilots. He takes good care of my Mom, and as always, is home for anything important to his families lives. I know for a fact that he's worked very, very hard to do all of the things that he's done, to accomplish all that he has accomplished in his career, and to keep a well maintained, happy family life and a 30 some odd year marriage going at home.
So again, the answer to the question is most definetely yes. My pop has made me plenty proud of him while proving to me that the answer is yes.