Recently a friend sent an email questionnaire – you know, the fun ones asking you to name your favorite chick flick, the last movie you cried to, your favorite snack. This one asked, "name five names you are known by." So, I faithfully started writing:
Donna Jean (my mother)
Mrs. xxx (teachers)
Mrs. xxx (future daughters-in-law)
Mom (present daughter-in-law)
And I realized most of my names are related to some job I hold – parent, spouse, secretary, daughter. Most of my names are my children's names for me, depending on the degree of urgency, each one said incrementally louder than the one before it. They are in their mid-30s now and I do not see them growing out of this name-calling stage any time soon.
I don't think I have lost my identity – you hear women whine all the time that they don't know who they are. I am first and foremost – Mom. It's my favorite job. It's my longest running job – I have never been fired nor laid off and I doubt I will ever have to worry about job security until the day I die – and then it is my children who will have lost their parent / teacher / friend / nurse / fireman / instructor / life coach / driver / all-around rescuer from all things girl, pet, sport, life in general issues. (I haven't quite figured out how to put that down on my resume.)
So, my oldest son was laid off after ten years and the first person he called was:
I'm meeting him for lunch and I'm wearing all my hats.