As a mother, particularly a single mother, there has always been a silent fear nestled deep inside me. A fear of hearing those words that change everything …
I knew that something was odd in the way my daughter was acting but I chalked it up to PMS or one of the many other quirky mood-swings of most fifteen-year-old girls. I was not prepared for the reality of her present mood. My heart sank. My stomach knotted. I choked back the urge to cry, to vomit, and to faint.
Those two words had the same impacting power of an atomic bomb—at least that is how it felt inside.
I remained amazingly calm. I was shocked. I was even more shocked at how calm I was. I ought to be mad. I should yell. I should … do anything but be calm. Am I not breaking some silent mothering code by being so calm?
My daughter went on to explain that she took two pregnancy tests. You know the ones you see advertised on TV. The one that is the most accurate. You can pee on before you’ve even missed a period. Yes, that one. Not once, but twice, it showed that dreaded two parallel lines instead of the one line that signals relief at the thought of a scare of pregnancy for such a young girl.
After I awoke from my shock and silence, she called her boyfriend over. He was amazing. Supportive. I was still calm. She cried. He cried. They embraced. We all embraced. I was emotional but still calm.
After we talked for a few hours, I proceeded to make the call I never wanted to make –to my ex-husband. When I told him, my words were not met with anything negative. He was calm. What is wrong with us? Are we both crazy? He was out of town but told me he would be driving home early the next morning. He did.
The meeting between the young parents-to-be, my ex, and I went well. We were still calm. The new father-to-be had not told his parents. He said he wanted to tell them with us there. Not, a good idea, I thought to myself. It didn’t turn out that way anyway. In retrospect, however, I should have advised him that calling his mom at work and asking if she would come home so that he and my daughter could talk to him was the same as blurting it out over the phone. She knew in an instant. She wasn’t freaking out, but she was not “calm” like my ex and me.
A meeting between teens and both sets of parents was set for 6 p.m. that same day. When we arrived at their home, we were met by his parents, who embraced us. We cried. We were all in shock. However, they were more in shock. I had had almost twenty-four to think. His parents assured us that they were not the type that would shun their responsibility or the responsibility of their son. That’s a relief, I thought. But what about them—our children?
My daughter is so young and her boyfriend only turned eighteen a couple of weeks before. But in the midst of the questions, both verbal and silent, I was reminded of one important thing: these young parents-to-be have been raised in a Christian home. They are both Christians with a love for Jesus. They admitted that having sex before they were married was not something that they should have done; not simply because they got pregnant, but also because they were not emotionally ready for that part of a relationship.
At the time of this writing, my daughter is almost thirteen weeks pregnant. She and her boyfriend see each other almost every day. She had her first sonogram last month, at ten weeks, and it was amazing! When I was pregnant with my children, sonograms weren’t done so early. Watching that tiny one-inch baby on the flat screen above the table was a miracle. When the sonographer moved the mechanism, pushing gently on my daughter’s belly, she said, “Wake up, little one.” An arm raised and two tiny legs kicked. Tears filled my eyes. Reality set in. I was still calm but quite emotional.
There have been many changes since the night I heard those two words. My daughter elected to do home study. She is doing well and is disciplined with her studies. She’s always been that way, though. She has encountered negativity from those who she thought were her friends. I knew that was coming, and have had to let her deal with it her own way. I think the thing that hurt her most was comments by her softball teammates—those who love her to her face, tell her everything is going to be okay, and then discuss her awful plight before practice. But, that’s okay! She won’t be on the softball team, but she is on the mommy team and I have no doubt that she will be an all-star!
And, just in case, you are wondering … I am still calm.