Am I an Artist?

Such a valuable activity…that does not have respect when replying to the question “So what do you do?”

Colleen Briggs

Last night I faced the question I mostly dread these days. Sitting around the table at a fancy event with well-meaning, newly-met acquaintances, they asked innocently: “So what do you do?”

I felt that moment of uncertainty, tinged with panic. A simple question, expressed with genuine interest. In America, we commonly inquire about a person’s job as a starting point for conversation. But these days the answer feels so complicated.

I could simply and honestly say that I care for four children. That, in and of itself, usually satisfies people. Even without mentioning that two have special needs, chasing four kids around is recognized by most as a time-consuming and worthy pursuit. But, I also find that the conversation usually dead-ends at this point, as if people can’t quite think of follow-up questions for how a mother of four actually fills her time.

I could mention what I used to do…

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