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A Children's Child

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When my parents were 16 and 17 years old, my mom gave birth to a 7 pound 8 ounce baby girl on February 8, 1993. I would imagine that there was a whirlwind of emotions in the delivery room at that moment. The excitement that bringing new life into the world brings, but also the fear and responsibility that comes with that life… and at 16 and 17 years old. In essence, a child had just given birth to a child and they would grow up together in the years to follow. My parents were lucky in the sense that they had the full support of both of their families- yes, it was hard at first for their parents to come to terms with the fact that their children would be having a baby while still in high school, but eventually they realized that no matter what, they still loved them and needed to help them as much as they could. Still, this in no means at all, made it “easy” for them… they had to finish school, get jobs, and find a way to provide for me, but they did it.

When everyone thinks of these “success” stories about teen parents who make it and stay together for the rest of their lives, that’s all they tend to think about- how the child affected them. My parents never kept it a secret from me they had never really planned on having me, at least not at such a young age and when I was younger that really never meant anything to me, but once I started getting older and entered the whole being-a-teenager-is-so-hard-my-parents-don’t-understand-me phase of my life, I began to question a lot of things. Is it my fault that my parents didn’t get to do what they wanted to do? Do they really love me? Do my parents wish they wouldn’t have had me? Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, some of these questions and others like them, were answered now that I’m older and have led to the distant and cracked relationship between my parents and I.
Of course, every teenager has their issues and tensions with their parents, but they tend to become a little more heated when questions like that are up in the air. Now that I’m getting ready to finish off my last years of high school and am looking into colleges, my parents have begun to realize what the past 17 years of my life have meant to their lives, which they’ve decided wasn’t positive. Like I mentioned, my parents have had no problem providing for my younger brother and I, but having money and a house to live in are only part of the deal- without emotional support and a sense of being loved and belonging, the circle isn’t complete and I’ve had to look for it in other places. I’ve learned that someone can be you parent biologically but not emotionally, and that the latter is the more important of the two. I’m blessed to have a “second family” as I affectionately call them, who have been my emotional support for the past 5 years and who have helped me get through some tough situations. Without them I really don’t know where I would be right now and if my parents can’t be there for me, then it’s these people and the amazing friends that I have that matter and no one else.

Though tears, yelling, built up anger, and countless therapy sessions have all spawned from the relationship between us, it has also been a learning experience. I’ve learned that relationships are a two-way street- no matter if it’s between friends, parents, or significant others and I know who genuinely cares for me, who is worth my time, and who isn’t. I’ve become very independent and know what I want out of life and most importantly, I know that I want better for the relationship between me and my children in the future.





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Maddieeeern said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm

wonderful!

 
Anise said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm
Your piece moved me - and I'm sure others - to see the beauty in the storm!  Continue to dig deep and inspire us with your writing. 
 
A friend said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 10:30 am
This is a very moving article -- I am so happy that you have learned a skill, at a very young age, that so many folks never learn.  How to make the best of a situation.   Never doubt that you will succeed - you feed the drive to succeed while others surrender when faced with the same scenario.  You are truly special person and don't you ever forget it!
 
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