One of my favorite students has been missing from class more frequently than usual. I asked some of the others if they knew what was wrong. As it turns out she's pregnant. She's due at the end of June. She's a pretty girl... long blonde hair, athletic and a relatively intelligent 11th grader. I feel awful for her, but it's not like she wasn't aware of the consequences. I was even surprised that she was keeping it. As it turns out she's living with her boyfriend (also a former student of mine) and her parents are apparently supportive of her decision. Truthfully 20% of the students in each of my H.S. classes has a child. Unbelievable but it's true. Some have infants, some have toddlers and some have girlfriends currently expecting. True, the school that I teach at has a very diverse population and many of the cultures are more excepting of this. But they're still just kids themselves. If we can't get the parents educated what chance is there for their children's education? My student says she's going to continue through to graduation...but how? I asked one of my girls that has a 7 month old if she missed her daughter while she was at school. She said, "Yes but I enjoy the time away too." How sad. For both of them. She doesn't truly get to appreciate the gift she's been given, and her daughter doesn't get the benefit of being with her mother as much as she should be. What is wrong with this picture?
It gets to be very surreal sometimes. I can't help but thinking, "that should be me not her." Then it would be a joyous occasion all around. The responsible adult that waited until she had a career and a house would be set to raise a child. The H.S. student would have her whole life ahead of her. She could finish high school on time and perhaps decide to continue onto college. But things don't seem to go that smoothly. It almost feels as if it's one or the other. I can't even blame her knowing what I now know to be true. If she does get the support that she needs, she'll have a child possibly graduating college by the time she's my age. Who knows, if she aborted this baby maybe she'll never get another chance. I know she's young. But then I'm old and infertile. I wish I could turn back the clock but I can't. She probably wishes for the same thing. It's a sad mixed up world.
I've noticed that about every five or ten years I look back and realize the mistakes that I've made and how I would change things. It's like that song, "I wish that I knew what I know now... when I was younger." I think it was a car commercial or something. But how do you live in the moment and have the forethought to make decisions that you're not going to regret in the future. If I keep spending time looking back I'm going to miss what I should be enjoying now and will be regretting it when I'm fifty.
I'm sorry for rambling. The DH and I have been under the weather lately.
It snowed another twelve inches on Friday. I thought I'd keep the falling snow on my blog because apparently we might be getting more in the coming week. I've lost track of how many inches we've had this winter. I think it's around forty!
I'm trying to keep up on reading all of your blogs. It's not easy. You guys are really great to talk to.