“It’s T’s mum!” A group of kids chorused even before I saw them. I had my headphones on and have just stepped out of the gate that led into the headland, that’s why I didn’t see them first.
They were a group of children from little T’s small primary school down in the village from our house. “Hi T’s mum!” I heard one of them say and the others all smiled and waved to me as they passed, obviously headed for the football field, probably an after school P.E. activity. I smiled and waved back to them too. The sweet thing about this whole scenario is that they were all older kids, not kids from T’s class whom I’m familiar with, down to their names. These were older kids, probably between 8-10 years old. But they all knew who I was, or rather they all knew that I was T’s mum.
I walked away with a big smile on my face and a warmed heart. These kids are lovely, I thought and then wondered, have I lost my identity? I no longer have a name, I’m just seen as T’s mum. Walking back to the house, I was checking my feelings.
Was I upset? No.
Was I bothered? A bit.
And here’s another incident, I overheard my husband phoning a builder to get quotes for the renovation to be done in our home. Not so sure what this builder’s relation is to O, a little girl in T’s class. We just know they’re related. Anyway, this is how my husband introduced himself:
Hi J. This is S, T’s Dad. Yes, from O’s class.
I asked him about it, and he chuckled and said “Yes, that’s me. I’m happy to be known as T’s Dad’.
But then I thought, outside the village, in his work with the OU and Oxford, he is still known to his students as Dr. S. He still has an identity. Whereas I’m just known as T’s mum, and to my husband’s students who often phone him at home, I’m known as Dr. S’s wife.
If you’ve read my about me section on this blog. You’ll notice that I still refer to myself as a freelance writer. The truth is, I hardly get any paid work or writing contracts anymore. My last proper contract ended in 2013. To be fair though that lasted for about eight years. I do occasionally get paid for blog-posts, but does that mean I’m still a writer? I don’t really know. When filling up forms and I come across the item “Occupation”, I always stop and have a think. My husband always nudges me to write “freelance writer”. I feel like a fake sometimes. But it doesn’t really bother me anymore. One thing is certain though, I am proud to be known as little T’s mum. At the moment, I’m fine with that.
What about you?
Do you occasionally feel like an echo of your former self?