The unexpected discovery of a pregnancy in your teens; is one of those moments that you look back on and try hard not to recall every daunting and terrifying thought swimming about in the ocean of inexperience. Although initially for me it resembled more of a generally positive.. okay naive daze, than would have otherwise been expected. The first utter-trembling-fear moment in my eighteen-year-old vulnerability came with my weeping on the telephone to my mother, a few hours of sleep after the arrival of my little man... Those tears that came with guilt, the guilt that came from my immense dislike upon first meeting; for the large, swollen, purple, loudly crying child that was my own.
Mind you; with some wise and encouraging motherly words my nervousness calmed; and as of our second meeting later that morning, we began our remarkable journey of friendship.
The earlier years were spent learning and categorizing the interesting and unusual new sounds, sights, and smells. Days were filled with excitement; feeding routines; hilarity; curiosity; anxiety; and the occasional panic. However at the time, all I was simply attempting to manage was the general day-to-day of life. Firstly understanding my responsibilities, then trying my youthful-best to be that responsible.
The whole situation wasn't thoroughly ideal, yet neither was it a complete disaster. His mother found work in administration, while I leaned to administer first aid; accompanied by fatherly affection. Though most importantly; I taught myself to cook. But as is entirely possible as a teenage parent, and as is often the case; that door of accepting ones consequences swings both ways.
Unfortunately my modest attempt at ill prepared parenting was then later coupled with anxious relationship uncertainty. It became our relationship that needed first aid, although I was not qualified; nor could I fix it when I couldn't yet comprehend its brokenness. After a further few years slightly more turbulent than the first, our household three; then became two. It would be an understatement to say I was devastated, but in the year that followed, for reasons I wont elaborate on here, this upheaval became the long awaited catalyst I needed to define me. In many ways it shaped the first few steps of a major overhaul of my life, of the principals by which I lived, and of my uncompromisable priorities and values. What also came to my attention; was that which ever direction I wanted to take my life, I needed to understand it fully; and live it purposefully. For where ever it was I was going, there was a little pair of feet always closely following my lead. I occasionally forgot in that transition period in my life how firmly footed my little man was in his role in our friendship; but he clearly is and always will be his fathers son...
Having experienced heartache and betrayal, you realize how it can change you; it gives definition to those corners deep in the darkness. Although, to accept that loss of innocence and to allow yourself to grow in it, as opposed to being forever burdened by resentment, eventually allows for a reviving sense of freedom.
Like a child learning to ride a bike, with that life affirming sense of accomplishment, peddling solo with the wind on their face; its like that very first feeling of being free..
And Freedom is unmistakable when it's found...
... sometimes freedom even evokes courage.
Courage you didn't know existed before, until you were brave enough to take risks and create your own opportunities. Of course gently helping hands along the way can buffer the edges a little; soften the blow of complete disaster; or reassure you that tomorrow will be different from today. But time really does heal. It heals cuts; and scrapes; and bumps; and bruises.. and it even heals broken hearts; for bigger, better, and brighter things to come, that yesterday you wouldn't have ever imagined. x