Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This One's For The Girls

I just finished reading one of my favorite bloggers out there, Big Mama. If you haven't read her blog, you don't know what you are missing. She mentioned that lately she is in a funk. It seems BooMama was having a bad day on Sunday, too. The thing I like most about these two writers, other than the fact that they are hysterically funny to the point that I nearly split my pants in guffaw fits, is that they are honest about the sometimes just plain rotten days of their lives.

And I am all about Keepin' It Real.

Let me give you a peek inside my world. Before I had a child, I had a much cleaner house. I ate right, at least on occasion, and I sometimes even went for a walk and broke a sweat. Now, most of my sweating is a side effect of the anti-depressant I take or the pre-menopause that I am convinced I have begun. Yes, and I am only 36 years old. Since having a child, I have much more fatigue, anxiety, brain fogs, and cellulite and much less fashion sense.

Ain't life just grand?

I would never, ever, in a 100 million years, ever go back to those former days if it meant that I would not be a mother. I absolutely adore my daughter and I am thankful for motherhood. Every night, when I tip toe in her room and look at her sweet face there nestled on her pillow and snuggled against her bunny, I say thank you to God above that He allowed me, undeserving me, to be her mama. I kiss my little girl's forehead and smell her sweet breath, thinking on the scent of her baby's breath, and the image of her resting peacefully in her crib. I pause and consider that these moments are fleeting, like a train leaving the station right there before my eyes.

I just wish I could be perfect.

Everyone has room for improvement, but I have room for an extreme makeover. From my organization skills to my culinary choices, the networks could do an entire mini-series on me.

I used to really beat myself up, ok not really, but figuratively speaking. Some days, I still do, but for the most part, I have decided that God made me the way I am. He certainly wants me to strive to be my best, but He wants me to be my best for Him, not for everyone else, and definitely not for am image that is plastered on TV, magazines and movies.

I've also decided that I do have gifts and abilities that are worth sharing. I can remove stains that would make most people run away screaming. I have the insane ability to memorize phone numbers. In spite of the brain fogs, my mind is a steel trap when it comes to mothering memories and entire episodes of Seinfeld. Go ahead. Quiz me.

I can make a chicken salad that my husband loves, an awesome pan of biscuits without measuring and I can create just about any casserole your heart desires with a vegetable, grated cheese, Hellman's mayonnaise, a can of cream of something soup and a pack of Ritz crackers. Look out, Rachael Ray.

In spite of all of these incredible, somebody call Guiness talents, I still feel a little down some days. Perhaps it is because I eat peanut butter from the jar or I forget to keep my eyebrows tweezed, or it's because my laundry appears to reproduce overnight. (Maybe this is a reason we are supposed to keep things separate.)

Oh, and did I mention I spend a lot of time blogging?

Yes, I am an average, underdressed, overweight, mother of one. I have a lot of room for improvement, but I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, as saggy and acne-ridden that it is. Acne at 36. Who woulda guessed?

When I am dead and gone and my husband has buried me after following the written instructions for my funeral that I have left for him in a special file in the filing cabinet, including songs and what-to-wear (for me and for him, yes, I'll still be picking out his tie), I hope my epitaph may read:

"Here lies Melanie. She never climbed Mt. Everest or took part in extreme sports. She never fit into her size 4 jeans again. She had no desire to travel exotic parts of the world or launch into outer space. Her house was clean, but lived in. Her hair was combed, but her roots were visible. Her waist, well we don't know where it went.

But, her husband remembers her kisses and the smell of her perfume. As a wife, she tried her best to honor him, to support and share his dreams, and to always treat him like the man that he is. She made him lunch, not everyday, but now and then. When she did, she included a note on a napkin or a lipstick kiss. She may not have kept her college figure, but she always dressed and acted like a lady.

Her daughter remembers her hugs and the smell of Noxema on her face when she tip toed in her room to kiss her forehead. She pretended to be asleep sometimes, snuggling her bunny and feeling her mama's loving eyes watching over her. As a mother, Melanie told her daughter about Jesus and manners. She told her and showed her how to give to others. Her daughter can remember the murals on her bedroom walls, the times her mama sent cupcakes to school, went on field trips, and made crafts with the class. She remembers her Mama staying up late at night with her when she was sick, giving her yucky-tasting medicine and singing to her in the darkness.

Here lies, Melanie. She wasn't anything out of the ordinary. She was just a mom, just a wife, but she was special to those who loved her and to those she loved."

I hope you feel special today. You are special to many people around you. Have an incredible, ordinary day.


Anonymous said...

This is an "Every Man's" post, meaning we can all relate. We fall so short, and yet we are blessed with full lives, and health and wealth beyond the dream of the average human. Good post.

Anonymous said...

I am in tears. Simply beautiful! Thanks for the reminder that it's the everyday things that matter in the end.

Grafted Branch said...

I plan to do my own hair and makeup at my funeral.

Anonymous said...

Recently found your blog and am certainly enjoying your Southern charmed humor. I'm a current resident of GA. Thanks for keeping it real, for all us girls.

Chrissy said...

Thanks for this!

There are blogs I've read where said blogger has perfect, obedient, homeschooled, well groomed children, lives in a tidy, organized, house and is married to a studly genius. She makes her own bread, sews everyone's clothes and has read the Bible through at least 57 times. She never has a bad day or an unkind thought, either.

I usually don't stick around blogs like that for very long. If I want a fairy tale I can head for the bookshelf in the children's room.

I want to hear about how God is working in the lives of real women every day. I want to be reminded that it's the ordinary that is so very extraordinary. That's why I come here...

Big Mama said...

Well, Melanie I can't thank you enough for this post. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. We may not be perfect, but we're Mama and that's what matters.

Tammy said...

Ok...this gal is near tears, PMS and pre-menapausel that I am...

Beautiful post. And you caught me during a week where I feel very overwhelmed. It's so easy to feel overworked, underappreciated...and worse yet, not valued by ourselves.
Thank you for reminding all of us who are mothers that we are doing so very much, with so much meaning, even in our so-called ordinary days.

(And thank you for your reply on my puppy post, too!)

And one more thing...I especially love that one line that you wrote, because it was so elequant and so how I feel nearly every day when I gaze at my kids...
"I pause and consider that these moments are fleeting, like a train leaving the station right there before my eyes." Wow.

Roxanne said...

Tonight at dinner as I watched my now 5 1/2 year old shovel food into his mouth--like he has done all of his 5 1/2 years. . .the first thing I was reminded of was how I spent the first 2 years of his life catching his dinner in my hands because he had rammed in a little too much. Then--like a light turning off and on--I had a glimpse of his pudgy baby fingers moving slowly yet determinedly toward his tray to pick up the next bite. . .the smooth, round cheeks surrounded by white blond curls. the picture was gone as quickly as it came replaced by this man-child who most definitely knows his way around a fork. Each day is a gift to us from a loving father--and he doesn't love us based on how perfectly we live those days--he loves us just because we are.

You are precious--and I've only "known" you about a week! Thank you for your lovely, thoughtful words.

BooMama said...

GOOD GRIEF I've had a devil of a time getting your comments to load.


I triple love this post. And will the internet PLEASE STOP MAKING ME CRY?

And of course I talk about my bad days. Sister has always told me that I am many things, but an actress is not one of them. :-)

Seriously: best post you've ever written. Just beautiful.

Nancy said...

You're definitely extraordinary. Your husband and a daughter know that, and so do I.
I hope you pulled others out of their funk, because, if everyone was like you, most of humanity would be in a better spot today.

Shannon said...

Melanie - This is just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I really, really like this. Just too sweet.