Monday, October 29, 2012

What's In A Name?

The other day, I took my son out to a store for a Lego building session. There were two other moms there with their children, and as our kids worked on building a haunted house together, we started to chat. Of course, the ice breaker was Legos. Storing them, separating them, stepping on them and the extreme pain they can inflict upon a poor, unsuspecting bare foot. We moved on to other topics regarding our kids: school (two of us were homeschoolers), summer camps, books they like to read. It was all very polite and nice.

Then we started to talk about what our spouses did and whether or not we worked.

I've been a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom for nearly eleven years, and I've always answered that question with, "My husband does ___, and I homeschool our son."

But this time I shocked myself. I blurted out, for the first time in front of complete strangers, "We both work from home. My husband is in marketing and I'm a writer."

Part of me expected laughter or eye rolling, but they seemed genuinely interested and polite. It felt good and it felt strange at the same time. As I devote more time to writing various things (I have three things going right now), I lose time homeschooling my son. I have spent so many years calling myself a homeschooling mom that it felt a little like a betrayal of myself to say that I'm a writer and that my rocking hubby has picked up my slack as an educator.

But the thing is, it's not a betrayal of myself. I've always been a writer at heart. I've always made up wild stories in my mind about our neighbors or people standing behind me in line. That's never changed. The only thing that has changed is that I'm now giving myself permission to let that part of myself out to play. A lot.

Telling complete strangers at a toy store that I am writing a children's book was huge for me. It was the first moment that I realized, "I'm beginning to get used to calling myself a writer."

And here's the thing:  It feels just as right, just as good, just as natural to call myself a writer as it does to call myself a mom.

What do you call yourself?

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