Thanks to all who’ve completed the teen pregnancy survey - I will add more of your stories in due course.
I’ve been rereading my book a bit lately (it’s not a good idea, I’m too much of a grammar Nazi and cringe and my language of just 3 years ago) and it’s hit me again – that feeling of Meant To Be.
My son sleeps in the next room – 16 years old and surely too big for that bed. I hear him breathing and remember listening to that same breath when he was a baby – waiting for the rise and fall, muscles tensed to jump up and check if the next breath didn’t come fast enough. Hours spent just staring, holding him long after he’d gone to sleep, fighting the temptation to wake him again to see him smile. Just like labour, the hard stuff – the vomit, the money worries, the teething and the lack of sleep, fades in your memory, gets hazy.
I loved him so.
People said I wouldn’t. That I couldn’t.
I didn’t screw him up.
People said I would. That I surely must.
I worried, I took daily vom-inducing rides on the Mother Guilt Rollercoaster, I feared that simply by being his mother I’d doomed him somehow. Everybody says you do, if you’re like me.
Just like that first night I told my parents I was pregnant at 14, when my nails dug into my palms and they bled, unfelt – I lived so many years tense. Not good enough. Never good enough. It took so long to build up a decent supply of skunky Screw You pheromone in my system which I could dispense to judgemental or ignorant nosy parkers. Way too long.
And yet. Look. Just look at him.
Look what we’ve done, together.
Meant to be.
G’night me boy, you make me proud.
I hope that you can say the same about me.