Apr 19, 2010

It's All In The Journey. No, Really. It Is.

I would like to show you all the article I wrote for a magazine that has been nominated for several journalism awards. But it hasn't been written yet.

So I will instead share with you all the latest article written for one of our local magazines here in deep East Texas. When I was asked to write the article I thought they would want me to write on something I knew something about; like the time I spent in a Taliban training camp, the dinner I spent with Arafat or how last week, Thailand's election commission - an independent government body that oversees races and can disqualify candidates - recommended the dissolution of Abhisit's party. Cuz I know alllll about that kind of stuff.

But noooooooo, they wanted me to write on being a mom.


Better yet, they wanted me to write on Why I Like Being A Mom. Which is ironic since when they first contacted me I was knee deep in Baby Claratin and Vicks Vapo-Rub and secretly inside (as well as loudly and publicly) I was wishing Mary Poppins would show up at my door and give them the medicine and give me that magic umbrella that takes you to faraway places.....like Marshalls or Costco.

But as usual, I gave the people what they want. It's Jesus in me, what can I say?

So without any more fanfare.....or, really, any, for that matter....here it is.

Oh and when you're done reading it be sure and let the editor know how effective a monthly column would be where I dole out my advice on topics such as: how to treat diaper rash by not making them wear one, how to make your husband think you didn't eat all the Blue Bell by by telling him you threw it out due to heavy conviction, and how to slip retirement home pamphlets into your parents mail and making them think it was their idea. Seriouly, write her. She loves that kinda stuff.

So here it is, from The Journey magazine.


Why do I love being a mom? Hmmmm….let me think.
At times I think the reason I love being a mom is the same reason I wore big bangs in High School and listened to Kenny G in college, “everybody’s doin’ it.” Think about it. Would you really fit in well at Chik-fil-A if you didn’t have children? And how would you know what celebrity should be your best friend if you didn’t have children at the same time as them? (Hi! Jennifer Garner! Call me!)

I like being a mom because it’s okay to look like a hot mess at Chik-fil-A and I always have a reason to buy People magazine. So there are perks.

But honestly, there are times when it’s really difficult being a mom; times when it’s really difficult becoming one, too.

Much like my mood swings, my desire to have children had its highs and lows all through my life. At first there was “no way I was ever going to have kids,” followed by “if I get pregnant it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” to “am I seriously never going to get pregnant?” and then to “God, give me children or I will die.” (Gen. 30:1)

And so year after year, miscarriage after miscarriage, my dream of having a child began to fade. But my longing never did. And suddenly in 2005, with no warning or planning, I was pregnant. And everything I had ever wished for came flooding back to me; I Googled “How to make hair-bows” and “Football lessons for preemies” within the first few minutes.

But life – because it is at times hard and unfair – happened. And the beautiful boy we waited so patiently for left us just as shortly as he came to us. And I assure you, picking out car seats and picking out grave sites are two very different things. But I suppose looking back I can say - one makes you happy while one makes you strong.

Today I am a mom…of two. How do I know? I’m tired and cranky. I exist on two cups of coffee, chocolate milk and whatever they leave in their lunch box. My biggest fear is that one day I will roll my eyes and they will actually stay that way. And the only “girl time” I ever get is when I am trying to use the bathroom and my 4 yr. old, Remi, is staring at me.

But also like any other mom, I’m scared; scared that I’m messing them up more than I’m preparing them, scared that I obsess too much over their hair and not enough over their love of sweets, scared that someday I’ll turn my back and someone will grab them because they really are the cutest kids you’ve ever seen. And then I get really scared when I think that someone might keep Rocco because he’s so sweet and cuddly, but someone might return Remi because she can’t be quiet for longer than 14 seconds. I’m scared that when people say “she’s just like you,” that she really will turn out just like me; fears, imperfections and all.

Sometimes I get scared that the job of being a mom is too hard. And sometimes I find myself with a wad of Kleenex and a lap full of Hershey Kisses calling out to God to “make me better, make me stronger, make me able.” And sometimes, in the midst of my tears I am reminded of how cold it was outside as I sat in a cemetery and listened to a preacher proclaim life, when I all I saw was death. And how even then, amidst hopelessness and loss, God spoke to me, “I’ve heard every cry, saved every tear. I have not forgotten you. And I know.”

And I realize that what I love most about being a mom is not the kisses, not the belly laughs, not the chubby thighs, but the fact that I am fulfilling God’s highest calling for my life. And I am never, ever alone.

Melissa Lee


bethdunn said...

Melissa, this may be the best thing you've written! Funny, sweet, poignant(I'm not sure what that word really means, but it seems to fit well). You really are a gifted writer- I look forward to reading your blog every day! I can't wait to see how God is going to use your "journey" to continue to bring glory to His Wonderful and Marvelous Name.

Unknown said...

What an honest, beautiful article!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I felt like God was talking to me.

Candice said...

I miss you... TN misses you... Panchos and Gigi's miss you...

I look forward to each morning because I know I'll either get a good laugh, cry or both like today...

Sissy said...

Lovely. Just lovely, and so very you. Cause I think I know you.

Kate Jackson said...

Wow - you did it. You made me cry, and I'm not even a mom (maybe a little PMSy, though...)!
That was gorgeous.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Oh Melissa, I am all teary-eyed. You nailed it sister. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first article. Well done!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading this early this morning alone in a dark living room eating cashews and coke for breakfast as they were handy and anything else required me to stay in the kitchen and look at the dishes that are still there.
Thank you. I cried all the way through. It is so hard, and so not what i thought. I want the two girls to care about global warming, but to also know that you don't wear white shoes prior to Easter. And I do hope that God hasn't forgotten.

Mama said...

My first thought, after gathering my wits back unto myself, was "lovely. Just lovely." But I see Sissy already wrote you that sentiment, so yea. Carry on.

Sissy said...

Wow! What an awesome article...I am moved to tears...well done!

Jen Rob said...

Wow, I'm so inspired by you. You are truly a blessing to me. I read your blog most everyday and laugh, cry, and cheer, and I am reminded of how God places special people in our lives and I'm glad you're in mine! I didn't know that ya'll lost a child until I started reading your blog. This post was amazing. Your strength and love for God and your family radiates throughout it. The first time I ever met you I knew how special you were. At your wedding, Heath said that David picked the perfect girl! And He did! Miss ya'll! THANK YOU!