I have entered the stage in my life where I am almost completely defined by my relationship to someone else. When I had a salaried job, I was an early interventionist (a title that describes my skills and interests). For a while I was a student (again, a title describing my interests, at least to some degree). And though you are never really defined by what you do, it gives people a starting point in conversation, at least. Now I'm Asher's mom. Or Brian's wife. Or even J's teacher, which I am two mornings a week. But I am not a teacher with a caseload, I'm just J's teacher. I'm still viewed in reference to another person. Do you see what I mean?
Granny had her 80th birthday party today. There were probably forty people there. I kept looking around and wondering, what is it like, to see ALL of these people, and know they are all your bloodline? That if you had never met your husband, this entire party would not exist? What is that like?
And is it any wonder family spats can be so silly? When you are defined only by your relationships to others, and not by any skills or passions or independent thought, the minutia of those relationships becomes inordinately important. Don't misunderstand me; I don't want to add any new identities to my life right now. It's just odd, is all, to be seen as only a caregiver.
As an aside - I was the only at-home mom in the group today (to my knowledge). A new experience for me, since I - like all of us - have surrounded myself mostly with people just like me. One of the other moms said, "I wouldn't know what to do if I stayed at home. I couldn't just sit around all day." This isn't offensive, but it is incorrect. I do a lot of things in a day, but sitting is rarely one of them.
Anyway, identity is on my mind tonight. How easy it would be to lose mine for the sake of everyone else's.