It\’s been snowing all day. In a little while, our younger daughter will be landing at the airport in Albany, NY, an hour and a half from here, and we will not be there to meet her. And it will be my fault. We checked the radar maps, and we checked the roads online. There were three accidents between here and Albany, and dire predictions of bad road conditions.
Still, had it been up to my husband, we\’d be on our way to the airport right now. He feels a strong imperative to meet people at the airport, to be there at the gate when they land, or just beyond security if the gates are out of bounds. When one\’s near and dear alight from the skies, he believes, one needs to be there to meet them. No matter what.
My view is more nuanced. One is there to meet them if at all possible. When it came time to decide whether to go or stay, the snow was coming down implacably, and someone who\’d been here had called after she left to say the roads were bad, and besides, there are hotels right near the airport, so I said, no, we\’d better not go. And my husband said, whatever you say.
We tried calling our daughter\’s cell phone when she was between flights but she didn\’t answer, so we left a message. We will page her at the airport when her flight gets in. She is a grown woman who will know what to do. In fact, she will probably enjoy a quiet room and an early night after a day of flying. And tomorrow morning we will go to pick her up.
So why do I feel so bad? Because, though mostly retired these days, I\’m a mother, and I want to be there to greet my child and cluck over her stories of narrowly-missed flights. I want to get her home and give her something to eat and put her to bed safely. And instead I\’m in bed safely while she\’s in the wilds of Albany, NY all by herself. All because I didn\’t think it was safe to drive to Albany in the middle of a snowstorm. What kind of mother am I?