Have you ever watched a television program where a “bomb” of information is dropped and in the accompanying background you hear either a record skip or a car making skid marks? That’s what I heard in my head when the doll dropped her little nugget of information….
“Yesterday at lunch, my friends and I were talking about how our parents would feel and react if we came home pregnant….” The doll said while riding in the car. We were on our way to her volleyball game and had just finished talking about the appropriate way to feel toward certain things. “Are you seriously trying to get us killed?” I asked and she guffawed before starting again, “Stephanie said her parents would disown her and kick her to the curb. I’m not sure how you would react… ” She said. Not giving her a chance to finish her thought I offered, “I don’t think it’s me you would have to worry about darlin’…” Looking back at me oddly I added, “The one you should be worried about is your dad.…” I emphasized. The word “dad” hung between us for a moment and her eyes grew very large at the implication. “Oh, I forgot about him…” She said just above a whisper and then became mute for a minute.
I watched as the wheels in her head turned for a minute or so before she continued on “Nancy said her parents would literally kill her….” “How many of you were talking about this lovely prospect?” I wondered. “Stephanie, Nancy, Twin, and Emily. Anyway, Twin thought her parents (mostly her dad) would be very upset with her for a very long time and Emily thought that while her mom and dad would be mad they probably wouldn’t throw her out.” She finished. “Do you girls always have such interesting conversations at lunch?” I asked and she laughed.
Okay…in an effort to keep our talk from sounding like a lecture, I tried my best to keep the tone conversational in hopes that she might actually hear/listen to what I was saying.
“In response first let me say, knowing Stephanie’s parents, they would never disown or throw her out. They are too nice and compassionate type of people to ever do that. However I’m sure like the rest of us, they would be very unhappy and disappointed by your choices. Here’s the thing doll, even though you can physically conceive a baby, does not mean you are emotionally equipped to handle the responsibilities involved with having one”. “I know mom…” She said in a tone which sounded as if she were sorry she had opened this can of worms. “You would have to make some very difficult “adult” decisions concerning the welfare of this child and you haven’t matured enough to handle them. In addition, consider as fact you just postponed your future by ten very hard years–if you’re lucky. “But you and dad would help me out right?” She asked. “Doll who’s to say we would be around?” I said, which made her look very hard at me. “”You’re dad is always worried about his A-Fib, I worry about my Asthma…” I trailed off as she nodded her head in understanding. “There are so many variables out there…you can’t trust the future to turn out like you plan”.
Looking back at me she said, “You don’t have anything to worry about mom….I’m not seeing babies in my future until I’m married…in fact, right now, boys are big red flags for me…” “Good…” I replied and then turned into the volleyball venue, essentially ending our conversation.
As we entered the gym and she joined her team mates, I sat down next to Nancy’s father and said, “The doll and I just had a very interesting discussion about what they were discussing at lunch yesterday”. “Oh yeah, what’s that?” He asked. “They talked about what their parents would do if they came home pregnant.” Another parent who was seated behind us replied, “Oh dear God!” Nancy’s dad replied, “I’d be going to jail for murder…” I couldn’t help but laugh saying, “Evidently your child knows you…that’s what she said you would do”. “Well good…maybe the ploy to keep her dad out of prison will prevent that from ever happening” he said shaking his head.
Before the volleyball game began, I recalled the conversation the doll and I had just shared and realized how much I enjoyed hearing her say “boys are a red flag to me” statement….
Even though I don’t necessarily believe her.