Losing My Identity

I know this Inside Out is two weeks late – but my editor at the Democrat was on vacation last week. So I never got back my edited piece to run here in the online version. Just think of it as double the love this week!

Somewhere along the line, I’ve lost my identity. It’s not identity theft – at least not in the “oh no, they’ve spent thousands on electronics and sporting equipment, and we have to fight the credit card company to get it back” kind of sense.
No money has passed hands. And I’m not ripping through old wallets looking for my Social Security card.
But somehow, my name has transferred from Jeanne to “Jilly’s mom.”
Call it too much work – or a case of Mommy brain – but it went unnoticed until last week.
My daughter’s friend wandered into my office Wednesday night.
“Jilly’s Mom, Jilly’s not sharing,” she told me, her little eyes pitiful, her little lips in a pout.
Five minutes later, the same eyes were bright, the mouth spread wide in a grin. “Jilly’s Mom, look! We’re watching ‘Madagascar’!”
OK, she’s only 3. I can’t expect her to remember my name.
But she’s not the one who has me worried.
I was ready to crash when I came in from a day spent photographing yet another wedding when my daughter came rushing to the door. “Mommy, Mommy, I missed you! What did you do today?”
Honestly, I’d talked about her. A lot.
Because every single person had asked me about Jillian. At least every single person I knew. And a few I didn’t.
It’s always nice when people ask, don’t get me wrong. But the conversations I have on the road these days are a far cry from those I was having just three years ago.
We still talk about work at the Democrat, the doings in the news business, the latest stories to hit the street – everyone wants to know what the reporter has cooking.
Sometimes it turns to my parents or my grandfather. But where it might eventually have landed on me – people don’t need to ask anymore.
If you want to know how a parent is, you ask about their kid.
If you want to know about me, you ask about Jilly.
And so it is, I’m not Jeanne anymore. I’m Jilly’s mom.
And I couldn’t be happier.

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