As an enterprising youngster propped up by my Dad's proclamation that I'd be successful at whatever I decided to do, I felt that I was well on my way. I dabbled in the homemade greeting card business. I up sold my car washing capabilities. Playing restaurant was no game; there was always a bill and suggested tip for the only meal on the menu I could make. From an early age, I knew how to work. And I envisioned my entrepreneurial experiences adding up to something substantial someday. I wasn't going to be anybody. I was going to be somebody.
Last week, my right eye started bothering me. After eight hours staring at my computer screen, it was blood shot, dry, and headache inducing A couple drops and a night of firm shut eye later, it was still irritated so I went to see a doctor.
I had never been to an eye specialist before, so I wondered if he would find anything that I hadn't already detected. Vision checked out. Coloring was fine. But yeah, there was something on my eye. It was an ulcer. And I needed to take steroid drops to make it go away. Guarantee baby #2 will be bigger than Mary's slight 5 pound birth frame.
Toward the end of the exam and around the time I had finished explaining my current occupation as Burger Girl, he saw something else in me.
'So you're somebody,' he said.
I perked up at the classification and the novelty of it in my life. My ears rang with pride. Sure, I left out the layers of leadership above me making the real decisions, but I had done it. Even to a physician, I had escalated to a person of interest.
The next day, still high on my somebody status, Mary and I pulled up to her great grandmother's house to take some fall photos. And as always, I was humbled in her presence.
'Gigi,' Mary said.
She welcomed us with her warm smile and sweet embrace. She showed Mary her bronze bull in the kitchen and her doll from Guatemala. She had cookies shaped like pumpkins all in a row, waiting for her little loved ones. Dozens of poses, snap shots and outtakes later, she was still smiling and laughing, surrounded by her bevvy of beautiful great grand children.
When our little fall photo shoot was over, she offered to take all of her grands and great grands to the most magical place in the Western Suburbs - McDonald's. 'Gigi,' Mary said again with a glow. Yep, honey, that's Super Great Grandma Shirley, SGGS.
It made me think of the way that Mary says, Mommy. When she points to my car in the drive-way. When she introduces me to her friends on the block. When she tells me to sit right there, next to her. When she needs a hug in the middle of the night. To Mary, I'm love, comfort, and care. I'm silliness and songs; explorations and adventures. Colors, happy ghosts, and chalk. I'm somebody, no matter what rung of the corporate ladder I'm able to reach.
You're only somebody if you're somebody to someone else. And when I was snapping SGS' photo last weekend, I stopped and said, now that is somebody.