February 24, 2012

why i am not technically a person

today, i recieved this request in an email from Benny's pre-school teacher:

Our classroom friends have started showing some interest in what moms and dads do at work all day and what they could possibly do when they grow up. Starting next week we will be discussing jobs that grown-ups have and what they do at their jobs. If you have any interesting brochures/books or props (syringes, scrubs, construction tools, old or broken cameras, etc.) to enhance our dramatic play area that you would be willing to share for a few weeks it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance and have a wonderful weekend!!!!

this made me laugh.
mainly because i have spent a good portion of my career trying to explain what my career actually is.
maybe a room full of 3-year-olds will understand. . .

this also made me laugh because of something ben said last night that reminded me of an earlier iteration of this same career dilemma.
i did my undergrad at University of California, Irvine.
while i was there, i served as an RA.
my RA friends and i would joke that we just needed nametags that said, "RA," our "your RA," or "the RA," or "my RA," depending on the occasion. 
generally, once we started working, that was the only way we were ever introduced.
if we were in the lobby with our residents, and a friend or parent walked in, they would go around the room and do introductions.
"this is Kari and this is Katie and this is Joy," and they would point to me and say, "and this is my RA."
if i knocked on the door during an incident, we were to identify ourselves as staff.
"hey, i'm an RA, please open up."
if students were doing something ill-advised, you would hear, "shhh! the RA is coming."
of course, the students actually knew my name.
but most of the time in this particular role, the title trumps one's name.
i'm sure staff of all walks of life have been part of this phenomenon.

this brings me to last night.
we had just been through the usual brushing of teeth, reading of books, and re-arranging of blankets.
i had snuggled in with ben to trace his face, and we were chatting about silly things.
i made some statement to the effect of, "mommy being a silly person."
ben stopped what he was doing and put his arms around my neck.
as always, my hair was in the way, so he spent a moment or two rearranging it so that he could whisper in my ear.
"you're not a person, mommy. you're my mom."

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