Tuesday, June 23, 2009

While We Are On The Subject...

Now it's the teenagers' turn, and their parents. I remember being a teenager. It wasn't that damn long ago, and I am not yet senile. I knew everything. I also knew that if I spread my legs for one of the little boys I went to school with, I was going to be on my own if I got pregnant. My mother made very certain I knew that. And the prospect scared the hell out of me, so my legs stayed closed. I didn't have any serious boyfriends until senior year, because if I wasn't giving it up, the boys weren't interested. Well, you know what? There are worse fates out there than not having a boyfriend. Girls, the boy that wants to get it on with you today is the same boy who will tell you he LOOOOOOOVES you, and turn around as soon as he pulls out and say it to some other girl. You'll be lucky if he waits till tomorrow. At this age, they only want one thing. Period. Keep your damn legs closed. You don't need to have sex. You need to get your education, so that if at some later point in your life after you have gotten that education, you decide you want to be a single mother, you won't need to have a man, and you also won't need to get on welfare. Have some pride in yourself. So your little friends are all knocking the boots with somebody, and you aren't? What a shame. And think how relieved you will be when you don't have to go home and explain to your mother and father that you're pregnant, and the boy that got you that way either doesn't want anything to do with it, or has three other girls also pregnant, or both.

Think about your life. How can you know anything about raising a child to be a responsible adult when you don't know how to be one? A baby isn't something you can just stick in a corner and forget about while you go out and party. Party time ends when the baby arrives, if not sooner. The next twenty years of your life do not belong to you, they belong to that child. That is your job. Your primary job. If you are single and alone, it is not your only job, but it is your most important one. There are no days off. No vacation days. It doesn't matter if you're sick, or you're tired, or just don't want to be bothered. That child still needs to be fed, clothed, changed, bathed. Your entire life revolves around that child. Every dime in your pocket belongs to that child before it belongs to you. And the things that baby needs are not cheap, oh, no, not by a long shot! If you lack an education, more than likely the cost of a playpen alone is most of one week's salary. Diapers, which you will spend a fortune on, will probably run you about $40/month...if you have one child. Do you really think you're ready for the responsibility? Oh, sure, I'm certain there are some girls out there who are naturally maternal and think they're ready for the responsibility. Are you one of them?

Let's not forget the other risks you run in spreading your legs. One of the lightest risks is your loss of a decent reputation. Because if you think the boy that was just between your legs isn't telling his buddies, you've got another think coming. Everyone in your school will know within twenty-four hours or less. If you think that boy thinks better of you or respects you because you let him sleep with you, you've got another think coming. I guarantee, though, he'll respect the girl that told him no.

And then, of course, there's the risk of disease. We can't forget that. There is no cure for AIDS, or syphilis, or herpes. That's baggage you carry with you for life, which, in the case of AIDS, will be fairly short. Longer now than it used to be, but still shorter than it should be. And your child is at risk of getting those diseases too. Do you want to be responsible for ruining your child's life before it's even begun?

Keep your legs closed. Teenage sex is a luxury you can't afford. Always remember the very old saying: "Don't write checks your behind can't cash".

And parents: it is our job to teach our children to keep their legs closed. Not just the girls, but the boys too. Teach them to channel that energy into their studies or some other outlet. It's not for the school and the teachers to do. If you were a teenaged parent, it is for you to pass along how difficult it was for you. Our job is to teach our children to be better than we were. To be more successful--or as successful. To teach them so that they can be better parents themselves. Don't sit there and blame the music they listen to or the television they're watching. You are the ultimate yardstick by which they will measure themselves. Take responsibility for them. If they hate you for it now--and I know I wasn't too fond of my parents as a teenager--they will love you for it later.

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