So I let myself be interviewed today for a thesis about teenage parents. It was a little weird...
This girl had an idea that sometimes, young moms get more support from people for their bad decisions than for the good ones, because their bad decisions in some way fulfill people's stereotypes of what pregnant teens are supposed to do. (I think this kind of reinforcement is applicable to a lot of situations, not just teen pregnancy)
This kind of "but-you're not supposed to" fallout didn't always come as a result of my good decision making (it didn't matter what decisions I made)--but it did, big time, for my boyfriend. EVERYONE made it so easy for him to leave me--his parents, his teachers, his friends, even his priest, all told him that it would be easier for him to let me deal with it by myself, that he didn't need the stress of being a father.
A lot of people abandoned him because he made the choice to accept responsibility for something he'd done. They weren't really mad about what he'd done, just mad that he wanted to accept the consequences and make his own choices about what to do next. He deserves way more credit for dealing with those tough choices than I do. Certainly the choice he made to be a loving father was rare among the boys I knew who'd clearly had something to do with some poor girl's reproductive history (I don't know if that's what this girl wanted to hear... let's see if that makes it into the thesis)
Anyway, I'm grateful that my boyfriend was there to hear me say those things, and I'm grateful that we had the chance to remember how brave he'd been, and I wanted to pass on my thanks.
Hooray for dedicated dads!
Hooray for boys making good decisions!
Hooray for PEOPLE making responsible and unpopular choices!