What am I?


I was talking to my granddaughter last night on the phone.  She relayed a conversation that she had in class that day with her teacher.  My job title was one of the vocabulary words in her class that day:

Granddaughter – My grandfather is an X and he works at Y

Teacher – That’s very interesting.  When I was in school I went on field trip to Y and it was really interesting.  I remember that visit to this day.

Granddaughter – Yes, I have been there too and it is really interesting.

So, my granddaughter told me she it was very cool that I worked at a place that everyone agreed was so interesting.  My granddaughter relaying that experience brought to mind a similar experience from 25 years ago.  I was doing a show and tell in my nephew’s class.  I had just returned from a trip to the Galápagos Islands and gave a presentation on the visit.  In the fifth grade class my nephew introduced me in the following way:

This is my uncle X.  He is going to school at Y and is studying to be a Z.  And he is a recovering alcoholic.

Those two exchanges are quite relevant to me.  The earlier one because after just a couple of years of sobriety, my nephew identified recovery as an integral part of who I was.  The more recent because that I am a recovering alcoholic goes without saying to my family, but is integral to the very existence of what and who I am today.

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