My youngest just found my memory box. We opened it together and looked at a picture and a few things written down about me in preschool: me, when I was his age. I liked McDonald’s and macaroni, just like him. He thought I was a funny looking bunny on Halloween, and I briefly tried to imagine him growing like I did: him, when he is my age. Deep breath.
My memory box is full. A few homemade race cars for the derbies. (Oli was impressed.) School book, Baby book. My first camera. My graduation diploma and tassels. But mostly, journals and stories and plays and words. So many words. A lot of horse stories. A lot of Nancy Drew inspired tales. Happy Halloween Intertainment, the living room production. An essay about my grandfather’s death. Essays about everything and anything, from middle school, high school and college.
Oli went and found his own notebook, sat in the closet, and “wrote” some things down.
Sometimes I don’t know who I really am. Besides a mom, besides a wife. People want to know what I do. What is my work?
My children often tell me that their play is their work. And every time, my brain gives a hearty Amen. It is their work because work is what we’re meant to do. Work isn’t about money, status, paying the bills. Those things matter, but work is about doing the thing we’re made to do. The older I get, the more I believe that the work we do as children is the work we’re meant to do for the rest of lives. What we play is what we’re meant to live.
I took a listen to my life story today. It reminded me that before I could even write or read, I wrote. And ever since then, I’ve been writing. And any logical person would then conclude that I am a writer.
I don’t get paychecks for my writing, and maybe that makes it feel a little more silly, less central. It’s hard for me to own that title, but I’m a mother because of my boys. I’m a wife because of my husband. I am a writer because of all the words put to paper.