I referred to Mr. Ex today as my ex-husband. I think this was the first time. It didn’t sting, but I had a moment of “that’s a new phrase in my vocabulary.”
Naming things and putting them in categories is so important. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of stuff in the bible about Adam naming the animals, and we spend a lot of time in sixth grade teaching about categorizing and labeling.
I remember the first time I referred to Mr. Ex as my husband – and how weird but exhilarating it felt. Or the first time I said “my daughter,” or “my son-in-law.” Or the first time I referred to myself as a wife, or mother.
It almost bothers me more to have lost those two distinctions as it does to have lost a husband. Not that I really lost the mom distinction, but I do miss the “caregiver of young children” distinction.
That got me thinking about labels and the labels we use with ourselves. Cook, homemaker, teacher, salesperson, girlfriend, wife, mother, husband, lover, partner . . . How they fit for a while and then they don’t.
I guess I need to figure out what the other labels I have for myself are. Especially the ones that have been left in the drawer for a while. Time to dust them off and give them a try again. More on that to come.
Also – thank you to everyone who commented or wrote me offblog about Monday. Your support – whether you are someone whom I know in the outside world or not – is incredibly appreciated and I feel blessed to have you in my life/cyber life.