Sunday, September 14, 2014

What ARE you?

Not long ago, as we were leaving the house, a small girl (maybe five years old, a stranger to us)approached .  She held a heavy umbrella, her dark, inky hair blowing in her face, and spoke as I reached the truck.

Little girl:  Where you going?

Me:  Grocery shopping.

LG:  Where's your son or daughter? 

Me:  We don't have any kids. 

LG: Are you a Mommy or a Daddy? 

Me: Nope.

LG: Are you a Grandma or a Grandpa? 

Me: Not that either.

LG: Are you a Mommy or a Daddy?


LG:  Well...what ARE you? 

Me:  That is the question, isn't it? 

So  what am I?  

Well, little girl, even at my advanced age I am not sure.  People can still surprise me.  I can still surprise myself. 

I love that she tried so hard to fit me into her conception of the world.  And that she ended up asking one of the most important questions any of us can ask.

What are you? 

Click here to read one of my very favorite poems about identity.


  1. I think though what are you can be answered scientifically, while the emotional question would be who are you, because what you are to other people vs who you are to yourself.....
    I don't know, though the lesson was incorporated perfectly with the story.

  2. I love that you linked a poem to your post! Some events in life, big and small, I often feel some other author has expressed it more perfectly than I could so I understand your position more fully after reading the poem: you will one day be a foster parent. ;)