I didn’t have the foresight to get rid of the evidence. Or maybe, secretly I wanted it to be discovered.
I don’t remember the details. I do remember that my sister found “it” in the garbage can. From there much is a blur.
I was numb. I was scared. I was excited. I was nineteen and pregnant.
Stuart and I had been dating for six months or so and were engaged. I’m not going to include all of the seedy details, partly because I don’t remember them but mainly because I’m not going to go all 50 Shades on y’all. You’re welcome.
My mom, younger sister Stacy and I lived in a small apartment in Pearland and had for several years after my parents divorce. We were privileged to share the apartment with a Pomeranian named Bandy. The bond between the three of us at the time was strong but not without flaws, like most families. I spent most nights sleeping on the couch in our living room, nestled between the two bedrooms of the small apartment.
I truly have no memory regarding “the telling of the teenage pregnancy” to my mother but I do vividly remember her response.
I called Stuart. He was at the fire station. No telling what I said. It goes without saying that I was scared to death. His response calmed my heart. “It’s gonna be ok.” Now, I know dadgum good and well he wasn’t thinking that at all. Here was a 23 year old man child with a brand new blue Chevy Silverado and a promising future in the Houston Fire Department. Isn’t it funny that I included the Silverado in that scenario? Come on, you get it. It was a symbol of where he was in life. Looking back, Stuart being at the fire station was probably a good thing. He was forced to keep it cool in front of the guys.
I had long since told the Army recruiter that I was in love and not going that route. I spent my days working at a local daycare. You would think that alone would have been good birth control. Evidently not!
The next step was to tell his parents. During the early years of our marriage, I truly believed that they were Ward and June Cleaver but have since realized that they like me are flawed but love their people fiercely.
Not sure how I got to his house on Helms Drive that day. Did I drive there in my little red Sunbird? Did he come get me in that brand new blue Chevy pick-up? Does it really matter? I was there. Now what?
Again, not sure what was said but I do remember silence. Lots of silence. Their words must have been kind because they didn’t break my heart as did the words of my own mother. (Man, I wish I had kept a diary back in the day. Whoda thunk back then that I’d be writing about all of this now, 25 years later, with a wonky brain that doesn’t recollect memories well. Some of that might be selective. Some of it, protective.)
We were pregnant. We would get married. We were engaged, right? What could go wrong? Vice versa worked for us but not without battles and scars.
My moms words however would shape my self worth for years. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I finally forgave her for my sake. Friends, anger harbored will kill your insides. It will influence every word that comes out of your mouth and every decision that you make. I can thank her now for the woman that I am but not for the reasons that you think.
“Julie, you don’t deserve a wedding.”