I don't think I will ever be able to completely extricate the infertile viewpoint when considering situations concerning pregnancy and babies. The angle is a little different now, though. With most things, I feel a little cringe that I can shake usually shake away easily. However, I'm always left with the thought that back in the Days of the Empty Uterus, those situations would probably have screwed up a perfectly good weekend. I often catch myself thinking things like, "That would have really fucked me over eight or nine years ago."
For example, there was this article I read yesterday about a gaggle of high school girls who thought it would be groovy if they all got pregnant at the same time so they could raise their babies together. Seventeen (!!!) girls at one high school, none over age 16, intentionally got knocked up and are expecting babies. Suspicions arose by October when an unusually high number of girls were requesting that the school nurse administer pregnancy tests. The nurse noticed that the same girls were coming back month after month and seemed disappointed when their tests were negative. Once pregnant, their fucked up little fertility gang would congratulate them with a high-five and preliminary baby shower plans. Are you shittin' me? Was that all I needed to do back then? I was the assistant band director/flag & dance choreographer at my high school alma mater back then and there were at least six girls who got pregnant through my five year stint there. If I'd known that all I had to do was slap 'em a high-five to get pregnant, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. This article had my mind spinning yesterday; had I read this nine years ago, this would not have been a very good weekend for me.
Then there's the issue of my almost-practically-might-as-well-be sister in law. I wrote about this situation briefly in March when I wrote this brief post titled Hey Nineteen:
a laid back, liquid ditty of an older man being tempted by the
seductive ways of a younger girl with whom he has little in common,
given the age difference.
My brother in law, age 22 and four years removed from high school.
His girlfriend of two years, a junior in high school at age 19,
proof of the childlike personality that belies her womanly looks.
She's newly pregnant, so I've just learned.
No we got nothin' in common.
No we can't talk together.
No we can't dance at all.
Well, Miss Nineteen is now somewhere around 22 weeks pregnant (I think) and I truly feel for her. She's not the brightest kid obviously, and as a teacher I can see the tell-tale signs of a mild learning disability. I have no doubt that she will learn to care for her child, but she will definitely need the guidance and support of someone along the way. Guess who that someone is turning out to be? She and my brother-in-law (who I'll refer to as Juice) live in Louisiana where Frank's extended family is. This week she called and asked what she would need to do to be enrolled in school here, as she and Juice are likely going to be moving here by the end of summer. Long story short – her mother is an emotionally abusive drug addict who's recently kicked her out of the house. Nineteen is currently living with her older sister but will not be able to live there indefinitely. The loose plan is for Juice to bring her here to live with my MIL, then Juice will go back, put in his 2 week notice, then come back. They are planning to live with MIL until he can get another job and make enough money to support his wife (I see it coming) and child. I'm sure you're seeing as many holes in this as I am.
Juice makes decent money as a delivery driver for Budweiser and clearly wants to support Nineteen and his expectant child, but he is also not thinking logically about what this will entail financially. For the past week he's been calling Frank for advice about which variation of a $500 Playstation 3 to buy; Frank rightly told him that he has better things to worry about and that he needs to save his money for his child and for taking care of Nineteen. A couple of days ago Nineteen called to find out what she should do about her sore throat. Earlier that day she called her OB's office and a nurse gave her a list of OTC meds she could take, but she forgot what they were so she called me to see if I knew what was safe.
It's apparent that Frank and I are growing to be their guiding forces as they head into parenthood. Neither of us mind this; they need the support and my main concern is for my unborn niece or nephew. Still, there's a huge part of me that wonders why kids like this can "oops" their way into pregnancy while I and so many others had/have to go through so much. The Moxie of today and of a decade gone just doesn't get it.