I knew it would happen eventually, and yet somehow, I wasn't prepared when it did: we finished editing the dictionary. Z finally came and now it's done.
Now I'm back to being "just" a mom. No more awkward answers to awkward questions. No more trying to finish an entry before Magdalena wakes up from a nap. There probably won't be as many semi-supervised Photo Booth sessions for Miriam. No more sifting through unsavory sentences for words like "suppository." And now I can finally scrape together some "free time" to do other projects, like organize our photos or make DVDs of our video camera footage.
But you know what else there will be no more of? Well, for one thing, paychecks. Although that wasn't the main impetus for taking the job way back when, it certainly was a nice perk. Something else that is gone that is slightly less tangible is a certain sense of worth. And that is what I'm struggling with the most.
For over a year now I've had this outside project that was always there for me to work on. It didn't wake up during the night or need to be fed or, admittedly, give me kisses or hugs or tell me it loved me. But it was my own little pet, just for me, and some days it was the only measure of myself I could depend on. When I wasn't doing so well as a woman, wife, or mother, at least I was still dang good at editing the dictionary. And I had the paycheck or complimentary email from a boss to prove it.
Now I'm on my own. It's just me and the kids, not me and the kids and my job. For the first time in a very long while, if Miriam asks me to play Candyland, the answer doesn't necessarily have to be, "No, I can't, I'm working." I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. On the one hand, I really don't want to play Candyland, and having to work is an excuse Miriam (if not Magdalena) has come to understand. But on the other hand, it is so nice to be able to drop what I'm doing without having to hit "pause" on a timesheet and say, "Sure, I'll be right there!"
I have hopes that there will be another project forthcoming. Generic Non-US Dictionary company does, too, but it's still technically an "if" and even if it does turn into a "when," I don't know exactly "when." So for now I'll organize those photos and burn those DVDs and maybe figure myself out enough that I don't need to delve into the intricacies of English language in order to feel that I'm worth anything.