We all want the best for our kids, even if we define success in radically different ways. And we try to strike a balance in our expectations—keep them high enough so our children have something to strive for, and sane enough so they don’t fall apart if they fall short of their goals. But what do you do when the future you imagined for your child vanishes right before your eyes?
That’s what happened to Laurie Petersen when her 17-year-old high-school junior announced she was pregnant. As Petersen writes on Huffington Post, “my child was having a child.” Gone were Petersen’s visions of her daughter in college, “growing into the woman she was meant to become.” Instead, the teen enthusiastically tracked her pregnancy and started a baby registry, while her mom wondered how to support her “when every cell in my being screamed ‘Stop this!’”
I looked inward at the times I had subconsciously judged the teenagers at our church who became pregnant and never seemed to stop reproducing. Now my daughter was one of them.
Petersen encountered those who judged her daughter (and her), but she also found support in surprising places. As she wondered how she’d embark on a new job with a newborn in the house, a professional acquaintance admitted she, too, had had a child at a young age.
This does have a happy ending, of course. Not only does Petersen become a grandma to a beautiful, healthy baby boy, but her daughter defies the naysayers and goes back to school, graduating alongside her classmates in a cap and gown. And while her life may be more difficult as a single teen mom, many young people have overcome similar hardships and gone on to lead rich, fulfilling lives.
After all, the teen’s mom—the baby’s grandma—has her back.
via Huffington Post