I’ll never forget the night I discovered I was pregnant, July 4, 2006. Lindy drove me to Wal-Mart as we bounced affirmation between the driver and passenger seats…
“Yea, there’s no way that you got pregnant your first time having sex, that would be insane.”
“I know, right?”
“I just want to take it to ease my mind, ya know?”
“Yea, for sure, you’re not pregnant.”
I still remember her blue mustang in the parking lot. My redheaded goddess.
It said to wait three minutes and then your future would be revealed to you because you peed on a stick. I stood there, lanky and terrified, head turned away from five inches of plastic with a convenient digital screen that might as well have been a gun pointed to my head.
Three. Fucking. Minutes.
I glanced at the word “pregnant”. I’m not sure how my knees didn’t buckle at such a bold response, it was like a bitchy girl telling you that your clothes sucked, ya know? It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t subtle. It was a bullet.
I hollered out to Lindy from inside the stall, “Hey, these things can be wrong, right?” In that moment, I heard myself ask the question and the universe showed no mercy. It resonated that I was sixteen, pregnant and weighing on the option of hiding in a Wal-Mart bathroom stall for nine months.
I began my hunt for Zach, there was always a hunt. I remember him holding me and feeling this manifestation of comfort and mutual weight to be shared. Surely, this would mean a long awaited turning point in our high school affair. SURELY. I was carrying his life inside of my gut.
You cannot smoke meth and be a father, you have to pick one.
It only took a couple more lies and steady disregard for my heart and emotions before I realized that I was probably headed down this long road alone. My childhood crush was lethargic in his addiction.
I held my job at TAMU calling the most angry people in the country asking them questions about the government, traffic laws, mercury in fish and other random shit. I worked hard for my $300 paycheck in my manly sweatpants and ridiculous headset. I worked up until days before I delivered Lane; I still remember my inability to roll my chair close to my desk because of my inflated belly. My pancia.
I was an olive on a toothpick.
Lane Walker White
February 27, 2007
Seven pounds. Eleven ounces.
One stick. Two berries.
Three months ago, I was incriminated of having my priorities out of line, Lane being low on the list. I was told that there are certain things I can’t do because Lane’s dad is absent from his life and because I’m “still a mom”. I was accused of choosing traveling over Lane and told that this is a problem because he needs me all of the time. My “absences” were ranked alongside a dad who chose drugs and crime over his son, which resulted in incarceration.
That is a pill that this bitter, hot-headed and miserable woman refuses to swallow. I won’t agree to disagree or “squash” the issue. Let me tell you why…
I have worked to provide what I am able to for Lane since I was sixteen years old. I moved my son away from his birthplace because God told me to attend CFNI in Dallas, TX and to relentlessly trust Him. I did not work my first semester of bible school because we were figuring out life alone and needed every bit of each other’s company. Both Lane and I grew deeply connected to DFW through relationships, unforgettable experiences and flourishing opportunities. I chose to stay. Turns out I wasn’t making a huge mistake by moving my two year old away from Bryan, TX.
I went to Africa for three weeks in the summer of 2011. This trip was a necessary step toward my graduation from Christ For The Nations Institute. Thousands of dollars were given for me to attend the school; it was an absolute honor to travel overseas with my team.
In 2013, I had the most beautiful opportunity to engage in a three month long internship in the Philippines. I refused to go without Lane and knew that the internship would be equally substantial and meaningful for him. We raised over ten thousand dollars, enrolled Lane in a school overseas and jumped over countless amounts of hurdles including a nauseating court battle only days before we were scheduled to fly out. Lane floated effortlessly in Filipino culture while doing life with the locals. He graduated kindergarten and told the crowd that he wanted to be an artist so he could share beauty with the world.
This past year, I traveled to Ireland for one week. I was connected to this trip through my mentor while I was in the Philippines. I’ll never forget when I was washing dishes in my dorm and God started swirling the thought of Irish gypsies around in my head. I was instantly directed to the coolest missionaries in Ireland; God connected all the dots. During my flight over, I sat next to a hippie woman who rocked my world. She aspired to be a manager at Whole Foods; she loved the company. I knew she was one of those gritty bitches, a carrier of inspiration and punch. She looked me in my eyes and said, “Jodi, you have to read Wild.” I trusted this woman. I bought the book when I returned to the states. I have never connected with an author like I do with Cheryl Strayed. This book made sense to me. I related to Cheryl in ways I would’ve never imagined. Because of this book, I am hiking across four states this summer along the American Discovery Trail. I believe that God connected it all, I KNOW HE CONNECTED IT ALL. People are free to think the shittiest thoughts about my hike. People are free to think I’m an idiot. People are free to think that I am mentally unstable. People are also free to think that I am a selfish mother with her priorities out of line.
Can’t forget Mexico. (Can’t remember). I spent a week in Mexico for my twenty-fifth birthday to drink beer and lay on a beach with Janet. It was an adult trip. I am so adult.
All of my trips have been based on Lane’s schedule and comfort. Lane is obsessed with Weido (JJ) and that is the woman I trust to care for him if I travel in the summer. Lane loves it. I’m at peace with working religiously during the year and letting my son visit Grandma’s house while I take a break.
I never lost myself in my motherhood.
I don’t believe that your own passions and dreams become obsolete when you become a mother; they aren’t supposed to fit in a box either. I don’t believe you put yourself on the backburner until you no longer find fulfillment in anything but your kids. I DO believe that your children should be top priority, meaning they dictate how and when you do what you love, not if at all.
My son does not have an active father figure; that was not my choice nor Lane’s for that matter. I will not pause my life because of someone else’s decision. That would be completely ignorant. As much as I want to, I will never be able to fill the “daddy” void in Lane’s life. I don’t have that capability because I am a woman. I could quit my job, homeschool Lane and never leave the state of Texas but that won’t make me his father. At the end of the day, I have to trust that my role is enough right now or else I will make myself sick with panic. Lane is incredibly smart, stable, open, honest and free. Somewhere, somehow, I did something right.
I think women need to get hungry. STAY HUNGRY. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN’T DO. Get selfish with your desires, suffocating them will only piss you off. Don’t let people fool you. You are smart and more than capable of making decisions for you and your family. Whatever makes you a better person will inevitably make you a better mother for your children. We have made our way out of the kitchen. Let’s get the fuck out of the corner too.
The past eight years have been beautiful and painful.
I have done the absolute best I can with what I have in front of me.
Lane believes I’m some sort of rockstar mermaid QUEEN.
That’s all I need.