It’s not possible. The odds are immensely against it and yet here I’m faced with this reality. As I sit here alone, my thoughts search for answers to no avail. How could this be?
Processing the pros and cons, I imagine lists with no rhythm or reason to hierarchy. Acknowledging such an opportunity will never occur again; not in my lifetime anyway. The letter that I hold is of no consequence considering what will be sacrificed.
One question repeats itself, “Is it worth losing everything I’ve worked so hard for?”
It’s not as if anyone in particular would shed a tear at my sudden dismissal. Hell, they’d most likely celebrate by singing, “Ding Dong the Witch is dead!” (Metaphorically speaking).
Casting myself far and away, not to be heard from for God only knows how long. They wouldn’t give my absence a second thought.
I read through the letter again fearing that I somehow misread those systematic words. But sure enough, there it is in black and white. I’d been offered a contract to teach English in Florence, Italy.
“Italy!” Saying the word out loud makes me giggle.
Room, board, personal assistant, and $86,000 a year to teach Italians how to read and write in English. Six hour days, four days a week with a $3,000 tax-free, monthly spending account.
As I sit on my bed, I hear my kids and husband scuttle about. “Mom! Can you please help with my term paper? I’m stuck on creating a thesis statement that’ll engage and be interesting.”
I began to cry inside as life’s cruelty impales shards of reality through my troubled heart. The moral dilemma I’m up against crushes my spirit. Yet, passing up an opportunity such as this could very well break me.
My hands tremble. The smile that once graced this face no longer exists. My calling, burdens that await, binds me like a slave. It’s my opposition; Kids, housework, meals, the never-ending mountain of laundry that doesn’t seem to ever dissipate, so on and so forth.
Parenting is a job that is equally thankless as it is rewarding. That is, until the buggers are grown and you reap the detriments of the degrading work. Happiness will once again beseech me when they have babies who will one day torture them just as bad if not worse, or so I’m told.
Tough decisions indeed. However, the answer was written long before there was ever a question. Tiny hands, beautiful smiles, laughter, color, song, and so many wondrous experiences gives me purpose.
My missing smile returns as the girls come and sit with me. “Why are you sitting here alone mom?”
“Yah, what ya doing? Shouldn’t be all by yourself when you have us for loves.”
Folding up the letter, I say nothing about it. Nor will I. “Just going through the mail. Junk as usual. After we started on homework, you girls want me to make popcorn so we can watch a movie?”
In unison they both exclaimed, “Yeah!”
I regret nothing.