A Teenage Mom

At 19 I was a single mom to a special needs child. I looked for a community to talk to, to understand what I was going through, to help me navigate through, however in 1990, small-town, middle-America, that was tricky. The support group for parents of special needs children didn’t work out, too much info, too much anger, too soon. The young mothers group, I had very little in common with. I was worried about heart defects and early education intervention and they were worried about court dates and new boyfriends. That said, the leader of the young mothers group arranged for a few speakers to travel to various High Schools and she asked me to join.

We sat on the gym “stage” platform. In front of about, let’s say a gym full of teenagers, their elders by only a few years. We talked about our kids and our lives with the baby. It wasn’t meant to be scary, so much as realistic.

Knowing What You Know Now

When it came time for questions, of course this one came, “Knowing what you know now, would you still have had your child?”baby2 rs

It was a question to the panel. I signaled to the others, I’ll take this one.

I stood.

“I love my son. More than anything. Life is hard, I don’t have money, there are already things I cannot give him. So, if I could have my son exact  son five years from now, yes I would wait. But I don’t have that option.

You do.

And that’s why we’re here. Love your children enough to wait, wait until you can give them the life you want them to have.”

To tell you the truth it was definitely my most spontaneously eloquent moment. At least that’s how I remember it.

baby 1 rsSo, like many a woman before me, I was learning the “hard way.”

Even so, I never wanted to change my boy, no not a bit.