I spent the first half of my day down in Lehi at my sister-in-law's house. She had to take one of her kids to the oral surgeon (poor guy) so I watched the other 3 and my 2 until she returned. Since I was already in town, I decided to go ahead and kill two birds with one stone and headed over to the AF Macey's to do some shopping and take advantage of their caselot sale. While there, I took Emma and Sara over to the ice cream counter to share a frozen yogurt cone with them. As I was placing part of the cone in separate cups for the girls, the lady working the counter said something to me that literally left me speechless.
Lady: "They are so cute! Are they both yours?"
Lady:"Wow. You are so young! It looks like it worked out well for you, but I really think most girls who get pregnant as teens should give their kids up for adoption. I just don't think it's right! I mean, did you even get to finish school?"
Me: *Stunned silence*
I just took my fro-yo and walked away without saying anything. I didn't know what to say!
For the record- I was happily married and 21 years old when I had my first child, but that isn't even what bothered me about this awkward exchange. I feel that something has happened in our society that has caused people to be incredibly closed minded and overly personal. When did it ever become remotely appropriate to discuss teenage pregnancy with a perfect stranger. Just because I gave you 58 cents and asked for two extra spoons and cups does NOT mean I am ready to get life advice and hear your moral opinions about what I should do with the fruit of my loins!
Also- what if she hadn't been wrong about me? She was- very much so- but what if I had been a teenage girl who made a life changing mistake? What if I had been among those courageous girls who find themselves in the precarious position of picking up the pieces of their shattered adolescence, and piecing them together into some form of pseudo-adulthood?
No girl in that situation takes that decision lightly. There is no way she could. When a child is growing within you, there are bonds, emotions and chemicals all making it impossible to be flippant about the product of your mistake. I cannot imagine what kind of Hell it would be to give one of my babies to someone else- no matter how amazing they are or how much better a life they could give that child. I cannot imagine how awful it would be to know that you love your new child too much to be selfish enough to spare yourself the pain of giving her away. Torture! Pure and unadulterated torture! How dare ANYBODY openly criticize what a girl chooses to do in that sensitive situation.
I, along with the deli-counter-30-something, feel that girls in that situation should do what is right by the child. I know it has to be hard- but I truly feel that is almost always the right thing for the child and the girl for the baby to be given to a well established, financially secure, and loving home. I do NOT however, feel it necessary to tell every girl I see going against my personal opinion about how much I disagree with their extremely intimate decision. Who does that?
Anyway- that is my rant for the day. I take solace in the fact that I still look to some people like a high school student, even if it is more of a resemblance to a teen mother high-school drop-out.
Ross wants me to make mention of the fact that I was wearing my BYU Idaho t-shirt at the time. You'd think that would have tipped her off at least a little bit. . .