When I was in about fourth grade, my mom took a job at Northwest Airlines. It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it come with some excellent perks. She sacrificed for us by working nights, so she would be home with us during the day.
In the summers, she’d often drive us to tennis lessons or friends’ houses. Sometimes she’d sleep in the car while I had my hour-long lesson, then she’d drive us home and go back to bed properly.
We were old enough at that point to make our own mac and cheese or PB&Js for lunch. My brother, sister and I would ride our bikes, slam tennis balls against the garage door or play Nintendo in the basement together or individually. Sometimes we’d play nice.
Sometimes we’d be brats and wake Mom up to tell on one another. Only a mother would put up with that.
Mom’s job came with a cool perk: We could fly for basically the price of taxes and fees. It was standby, so we waited at the airport for the next flight several times. Once my dad, brother and I spent the night at Seatac. Luckily at the time, there was a riveting apple exhibition. I learned a lot about apples that day.
Mom’s job allowed us to visit family in Seattle and San Diego often – something we probably couldn’t have done otherwise.
When I went away to college, I could fly home or to Montana to visit friends for the same low price.
After a hiatus when Northwest and Delta merged, Delta reinstated Mom’s benefit a couple years ago. It allowed me to fly home when my nephew was born. And again when my niece was born.
Hopefully, I’ll get to fly back to see my Seattle family soon.
Thank you, Mom, for loving us enough to put up with our brattiness and sacrificing sleep. I’m always grateful.