When I’m at home, the decision seems clear. The commuting seems silly, too much for what I get out of my job. I arrive at the airport beaten, going through the motions of long security lines.
No I don’t have liquids.
Take off my shoes.
Decline the new fandangled machine and wait for the TSA grope.
Standby for an earlier flight.
Get a call from my youngest, who is sobbing. “Mommy, can I come pick you up please?”
Take off, my fear of flight turning my knuckles white. Tears run down my face, thinking about what I’m giving up to have this job.
It’s not worth it.
Witness a gorgeous sunset. Marvel at the rainbow from deep red where the sun is sinking to inky indigo as the stars emerge. Feel more spiritual in that moment than I have from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.
Finish my tea as the twinkling lights of New York emerge on a clear fall night less than 100 miles away.
Grip the armrests as we begin our descent.
Neighborhoods emerge. Lines of orange streets where families are putting little ones to bed. My thoughts choke my throat as I feel the sadness of my children miles away.
Trudge to the taxi line. Cry as I wind my way to into Manhattan. Suck it up as I prepare for a big meeting.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
It’s so, painfully clear. Being someone’s mother trumps everything.