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.