Thursday, September 24, 2009
My sister used to say to me, "You sound just like Mom!" or "That's something Dad would say!"..."Don't you know who you are, can't you say something that Jodi would say?" Used to piss me off, can't tell you how much. Because I would ask myself if it were really true that I had no self-identity. Was I really just a reproduction of those around me, did I really have no self-identity to call my own?
I spent eleven years taking care of my child, teaching him and giving him a voice. That was my only role. I got lost in a provincial town with provincial minds and limited vision. My small town places the family at the center of its soul and any deviation makes you an outsider or different. I put this town on the map in so many ways and in the end, this closed mentality could potentially destroy me...if I let it.
Funny thing about taking on your husband's name, it takes away all that you created pre-marriage. Names are so important. In Italy, women do not take on the name of their husbands, so I changed the name for nothing. I was so excited to be married and be a part of Luca that I sprinted to the records office to become Mrs. Del Dottore. In a snap, I was a new woman. I went from being the Jodi who mimicked mom and dad to Luca's wife and Jordan's mom...blink of an eye and I MADE THAT CHOICE.
I have not one regret.
I only know that somewhere along the line, I found out who Jodi was and suddenly all my names came together. I'm proud that my last name is Del Dottore- that name stands for thirteen years of sunflowers, audiological visits, labor pains, grilled chicken salads, bed and breakfasts, fighting with doctors, asserting myself as a mother, late night asthma attacks, guitar recitals, curls, tira mi su, frustration, faith, commitment and love and sofa-bed island. All of the shared experiences helped me discover the me I am and when I look in the mirror...
Although depending on the moment...I may even cry.