Last night I found out that my 17 year old unwed cousin is pregnant.
I’m not shocked, since she ran away from her parents’ home a few months ago to move in with her boyfriend (19, high school dropout, working at a part time job, and already has one daughter by a different BabyMama) at his mother’s house. But I’m still sad. My cousin has never been anywhere, never done anything. As far as I know, she’s never left her home state… her parents pulled her out of public school after her elementary years, but she’s not a good example of a thriving homeschooled kid. They didn’t join any homeschool groups or co-ops, they didn’t allow her to get involved with extracurricular interest groups, and her only stuff going on outside her house was her church ( a teeny-tiny backwoods Baptist church, of which her father is the bivocational pastor–his other job is at WalMart) and the job they allowed her to get at 15: working at Bojangles.
That’s where she met her stud, and he started going to her dad’s church to convice my aunt and uncle that he should be allowed to date my cousin. But after just a short time, he gave her a cellphone and started calling her multiple times a day to check up on where she was. She doesn’t drive! She’s either at home or at her fast food job! Geez, red flag?
I’m not saying it’s her parents’ fault. I’m not saying it’s the sleazo boyfriend’s fault. My cousin was raised with pretty clear-cut values, but apparently things were too tight so she decided to chuck it all.
It is just sad to realize that this baby will be born to a pair of unwed teenagers without even a high school education between the two of them. This child has a hard road ahead, through no fault of his or her own, because of the choices of a 17 and 19 year old who couldn’t chill out their hormones long enough to make a rational decision.
My aunt is devastated. She told my mom how much she envies our experience: the joy my mom had when we told her about my pregnancy, our frequent phone calls to keep her updated, the ultrasound pictures I’ve emailed to her, the little “grandma” gifts I gave her… On the other hand, my aunt only found out about my cousin’s pregnancy because as a minor she’s still on her parents’ insurance. So when she went for her first prenatal care appointment it was reported to them for some kind of insurance authorization code. What a terrible way to find out you’ll be having a grandchild.
My grandmother is so upset. She feels badly that her oldest grandchild’s (me) pregnancy is only joy, while my cousin’s pregnancy is such a difficult situation. And my mom feels like she won’t be able to share the fun and excitement with her sister over the next few months. It’s just a crummy situation, all the way around.