Friday, September 25, 2009

Oops. . .

When I got pregnant R and I had been dating for about 2 months.          But that’s misleading because we’ve known each other and had wanted to date for about 5 or 6 years.     Either way we were not married, engaged or planning on being married or engaged. For some people this was a problem.

Because I have raised hell during most of my double-digit years I think some (or maybe all) of my family looked at my pregnancy as one more f**k up in a long line. Of course I think, accident or not, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

What’s funny (in an ironic sort of way) is that I often forget that some people are embarrassed by the fact that I am not married to, but with, the father of my child. My grandmother told no one that I was pregnant and yelled at my sister-in-law when she spilled the beans (silly her thinking she was sharing good news). But my grandmother told me she didn’t tell anyone because it was my news to tell and she didn’t want to spoil it for me. Uh huh.

This kind of thinking has led to some really funny moments. Made all the funnier by the fact that I usually don’t pick up on the funniness until later.

Story 1. Every year my grandmother’s (the one who didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant)side of the family has a big 4th of July party/family reunion. In 2008 I was 7 months pregnant.

So we’re at the party and my cousin is talking about his work. I’m not sure of a job title but basically he works with a church doing missionary-type work. He works a lot with teen mothers. So he’s talking about this and I can tell he keeps looking at me but I’m not sure why. Then he keeps saying teen mothers (vs. the more common “unwed” mothers). Finally it dawns on me that he’s trying not to offend me because I AM an unwed mother.

Story 2. I’m back at work after Maggie was born and I’m chatting with a co-worker. She makes a comment about her 21 year old niece having a baby (her tone made it clear that was a bad thing). Then says, “Well I had a baby when I was 21. . . but I was married.” I saw it in her face immediately. She was embarrassed. But I had no clue why. Again it took awhile to realize that she thought she had offended me because I am (all together now!) an unwed mother.

The thing is: I don’t care. R and I aren’t married but I don’t feel any shame about it. I mean I don’t think anyone thought at 25 I was a virgin. If they did and I burst that bubble in a big way, sorry about it. Is it ideal? Would it have been better to have gotten married and gotten ready and decided to have a baby? Maybe.

It’s kinda nice to have skipped past all that fretting and trying and counting days and checking temperatures. I honestly think that would drive me crazy. And with R's commitment issues we may never get married.

So instead of all that mess, I have a boyfriend that I’m pretty happy with AND a daughter that I adore more than life itself. Win-win.

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