What I'm Dealing with Today

Written on a note slipped onto my desk:

Mrs. SmartOne, can u please help me? i think i might be pregnant. but I don't really know cuz my stomach has been hurting. I am late i didn't have a period in all of december. i think maybe we used protection but i don't remember for sure.

This is not the first time that I've had to handle a crisis like this. In some distant place far behind, this would have killed me. I would have held it together through the day so that I could be the supporting adult that the child obviously trusted me to be. I would have discretely gotten all relevant information concerning her last period, sexual activity, and her parents' awareness levels of said sexual activity. I would have done that because I would have recognized that it took a huge amount of courage for her to have told me as an adult she works with everyday, and if I know the important information, then I can repeat it to the nurse — a relative stranger — so that my student wouldn't have to. I would have let her know that no matter what happened, I would be there for her however and whenever she needed me to be.

Today, I will be all that she depends on me to be. But instead of going home to cry myself to sleep as I once would have, I will say a prayer for those of you whose hearts are heavy with the ache of that kind of pain.


  1. Wishing4One on January 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    WoW. What grade are you teaching? I admire the way you are dealing with this. I’m not sure I could be so good, ok I am sure I would not know how to deal with her at all. Thank God for Smart Ones like you girl. xoxoxoxoxo

  2. Wishing4One on January 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Let us know what happens, of course.

  3. Moxie on January 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    8th grade, Wishy. Only 8th grade. 🙁

  4. Lavender Luz on January 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Deep sigh…

  5. Stacie on January 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Wow Moxie, that’s crazy and not the first time you’ve had to deal with this. 8th grade, they’re just babies 🙁

  6. loribeth on January 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Good Lord. 🙁 I’m sure it’s hard enough to deal with in your current frame of mind, can’t imagine if you were dealing with a cycle right now. Please let us know what happens to this poor kid. 🙁

  7. JessPond on January 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    8th grade, so sad! Oh so sad! It actually brings tears to my eyes, but like you, not those type of tears. 🙁
    Good luck!

  8. a on January 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    8th grade…wow. I wish whatever it is that leads kids to this place (peer pressure, poor impulse control, poor self-esteem, bad parenting, simple experimentation) would be lifted, so they could go on being the children that they still are.
    This must be one of the most difficult parts of being a teacher…but also a rewarding part. Getting kids to trust an authority figure is not easy, so you must do a fantastic job.

  9. Pam on January 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    You are a special person, my friend, and obviously an amazing teacher that your students feel then can come to you with something this important. I am priveleged to count you as one my friends (even if we’ve never met face to face 🙂 ).

  10. Fertility Chick on January 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    8th Grade. Wow. When I think of what I was up to in 8th Grade, wow, this is a whole other kettle of fish.
    I am glad that she could confide in you – definitely a kudos to the amazing teacher that you are.

  11. GeekByMarriage on January 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Heartbreaking. I am so glad she has you to turn to. Please keep us updated on this lost child.

  12. tash on January 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    What a day I chose to pop in here and see how you’re doing.
    Moxie, you must be an amazing, incredible teacher for a student to trust you with this. And I know that you will handle this with grace, class and dignity. Which sounds like the silver lining this situation needs, and that relieves me beyond measure.
    Good luck to her. And I mean that.

  13. Quiet Dreams on January 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I know that role.

  14. Trish on January 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Wow, just wow. It is always heartbreaking when a middle school child has to deal with this type of concern. I hope that all turns out well for her. I just wonder here what “well” really means.

  15. Shelli on January 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Sigh. I don’t know how you do it Moxie…

  16. Kristin on January 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Your students are so lucky to have a teacher like you. {{{Hugs}}}

  17. calliope on January 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    wow. my brain and my heart are having it out over this one. All I can say is that this girl is sooooooo damn lucky to have you in her life. And also thank you for being the kind of touchstone for this girl that she needs.

  18. PJ on January 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Geezzz. 8th grade. Life can be so unfair.
    She must really trust you. That definately says something about the kind of teacher you must be.
    And yes, it would have surely pained me to deal with that. I couldn’t even go to my friend’s shower a few months ago.
    And on a different note… Two girls, huh? 🙂

  19. Bridget Kao on January 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I work for a Not For Profit sliding scale medical practice and just last week had to be a calm loving face for a 13 yr old girl. After she left I went in back to my supervisor’s office and cried. Less than feeling angry that this child can accomplish the one thing I can not. I felt sadness at the loss of childhood and innocence that she is going to have. I see this day after day, well actually I guess mostly on prenatal days twice a week. Just. So. Sad.

  20. jenn on January 9, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Wow- I am also really glad you are able to be a calm & trusted resource that this girl seems to so desperately need. I can’t imagine being that person- even now…
    I ~do~ remember being in the bathroom in 7th grade when my best friend from the year before came in. popped a few birth control pills & said ‘don’t know why I bother- the damn things don’t work anyway’. I went home and played dolls with my little sister & wondering even then why some girls feel so pressured to grow up so quickly.

  21. Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo on January 9, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Moxie you know I work with troubled kids and I have had to deal with that more times than you know over the decades and just now recently too,,, a FOAF situation.
    It’s a tough thing… I am so pro-life you would not believe and it is VERY hard to lay out the “choices”.
    Knowing so many infertile women and being one of them, of course… makes it even tougher.
    It is my responsibility as an adult who mentors to keep the kids I mentor safe (by reporting if I see things that mean they are not safe) but also, if they turn to me, troubled, I have to lay out all the “options”.
    That girl is very lucky to have you have her back.
    Hugs, hun.

  22. Sara on January 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

    That poor child.
    For some reason, I can summon huge amounts of compassion for teenagers and young adults facing unplanned (and in many cases, unwanted) pregnancies, but I have a really hard time when people who are already parents complain about an “oops.” It’s irrational on my part, I realize, but for some reason I expect people who are already parents to be responsible, whereas teenagers will be teenagers.
    I wish that pregnancy occurred always and only when it was desired. Is that really so much to ask for?

  23. K77 on January 10, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Wow. I don’t know how you do it. Clearly you are as amazing in person (or moreso!) than online. I’m glad you’re there for her.

  24. Carrie Holmquist on January 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    M’am, you need to phone me! Or tell me when is a good time to call you. Ahem, on your drive home from work would be FABULOUS!

  25. Manapan on January 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    That poor little girl. I hope for her sake that she isn’t pregnant. And I’m glad she has such a supportive teacher.
    Why can’t there just be an easy on/off switch for when you want to get pregnant?

  26. Alexicographer on January 10, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I’m glad you’re there for her.

  27. WiseGuy on January 11, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Oh Moxie, this girl is so vulnerable. I don’t know whether she really is knocked up, but if she is, this is huge.
    Am glad that someone as sensible as you is available to her.