I mentioned in my previous post I was the invisible child. This is an addendum. I was also nameless.
Throughout my childhood years I was referred to by my older sister’s name. There was no cultural reason for this. She was memorable for her smile and warmth. I was more wary of entourage, weighing pros and cons. Somehow my sister and I just knew who was being spoken to, even though people called us by the same name. Such is conditioning.
Fast forward decades later, I visited a very small timber town in Western Australia. I had made arrangements with someone by email and phone, so he knew my name well. He greeted me appropriately when I arrived, then took me to meet his boss. To my utter amazement, a few seconds later, he introduced me referring to my sister’s name! There is no way in the world this man would have known her name. (Cue spooky music!). I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter’s dogs are inseparable. At 12 months Em rarely responds to her name. When M (the older dog) is called, Em bounds in. They are siblings of a different kind.
Because of my work in small regional towns, I prefer a degree of privacy. People often know me by name until they meet me face to face. So I have to constantly be alert when I place a coffee order because I’m “Anne”, Kathy”, “Patricia”, or whatever name that comes to mind.
I keep a low profile on social media and for good reason. Long before breaches of privacy were being publicised, I noticed names of neighbours, clients, their children and also financial advisers I had not seen in ten years, were people who came up as ‘Add Friend’. It was more than troubling. When I mentioned this to someone, she accused me of being “paranoid”. I really don’t think so!
There is one name that is immutable and irrefutable. The one I identify with the most. It is the one my children call me. “Mum”. It is a name I have earned and intend to keep and the most visible one to others as well. I’ll explain. I came home yesterday and fly out again today, so I met with my son for a hurried dinner. We had a heartfelt chat over the meal. It must have been obvious because the waitress mentioned, she could not help watching, the way mother and son shared quality time.
My smile is not memorable like my sister’s. Nor do I have the charm of my mother. So I’m happy to remain faceless to the world.Because you know me best, through my imagery and words.
Until next time
a dawn bird