Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Ruined Life

Yesterday my 8th grader came home with the dramatic statement "X has completely ruined her life." Yes, teenage girls tend to be over dramatic but this had a different tone and urgency to it.

"Why is that?" I asked, in what I hoped to be an interested but not too interested voice.

"She's pregnant. She's really happy about it. She thinks the boy has to stay with her forever now. Stupid."

Whoa. A child who has been a classmate of hers since kindergarten is going to have a baby? I just saw her with her mom at a store recently. She's only 13, 14 tops. She's worried about a boy staying with her forever? What about the baby? SHE'S a baby!

Whoa. My daughter, 14 in a month who is still waiting for womanhood to arrive, thinks having a baby at her age is stupid? So glad she thinks it's not cool. Holy cow, I think I did something right. Hmmm, I hope she doesn't think having kids in general is bad.

The range of my emotions caught me off guard. What about the baby? How can a 13 year old take care of a baby? How can a 13 year old HAVE a baby? Poor grandma. Thank goodness it's not me. How much positive attention is she going to get at school?

"She's going to the X High School where they have child care."

I am so grateful I've been open and frank with my girls about choices, consequences, boys, sex and any other topic that comes up. I've tried to keep the discussions age appropriate. I haven't backed away from the topics that have come up unexpectedly, whether it came from a voice in the back seat of the car or a risqué moment on Glee. I've listened to the questions and let them explain them before immediately jumping to the adult version of the question. (Very often it wasn't what I thought it was.)

Wow. A baby in 8th grade.

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