13 year old Brittish father looks like a kid himself
I remember the first time I witnessed teenage pregnancy. I was in the 6th grade. It was my first day at a new school, a middle school. I saw a girl who was in the 8th grade and very pregnant. But the first thought that came to my innocent mind was that she must have been in a play. It didn’t even occur to me until weeks later, when the girl was apparently still in costume, that that frumpy maternity dress that girl was wearing was actually a real maternity dress. During that same school year I also saw another pregnant girl, but this girl was in the same grade as me. She couldn’t have been more than 13 years old (and that’s given that she may have repeated a grade).
When I think back on it the jump from 5th grade to 6th grade was pretty huge. I can almost understand why some school districts prolong that jump until 7th grade. In 6th grade you change classes, you have to remember a locker combination, you change clothes in PE, and for the first time you’re surrounded by kids in the midst of a raging hormone surge. But in 6th grade in just about every way you are still very much a child. I guess thinking back on how innocent I was at thatage makes the story I just read about the little Brittish boy so shocking. It’s not all that shocking that a 13 year old
boy would talk about having sex (the Brittish boy was actually 12 at the time of conception) because I remember the way that kids acted at my middle school. It was also obvious that some of the kids were actually acting out some of the things they talked about, as evidenced by the two pregnant girls I remember. There were actually more than two pregnant girls at the school that year, but I don’t clearly remember their faces. But with all the very young pregnant girls I saw I never actually saw the face of a 13 year old male father. The girls obviously couldn’t hide their condition. But I guess back then I always assumed they had gotten pregnant by older guys. I never even considered that the dads could have been as young as the moms (I doubt they were though). And the girls I remember looked so much more mature to me at the time than the little Brittish boy did. He looked like a kid playing with his baby sister. And the girl he got pregnant (she was 15) looked much older than he did. The whole story just looked strange. And not because they were white. (The first teenage pregnancy I saw…the 8th grader…was a white girl). But aside from how strange the story looked I guess the thing that struck me the most was the national outrage the story caused in Brittian. The idea that a 13 year old boy could be a father just seemed preposterous. I’m just wondering where the national outrage was for my classmate who was pregnant at 12 or 13. Is it no less preposterous that a girl could be a mother at such a young age? Or is a young black girls life so much less valuable than that of a 13 year old boy. Or is American society so desensitized to teen pregnancies that a 12 year old pregnant girl of any race doesn’t even make a blip on the radar? I don’t remember so much as a newspaper article about her pregnancy, or the handful of other pregnancies I saw that year. I wonder what that girl did with her life. She’d be about 33 now and her child would be 20. She could actually be a grandmother now if the cycle continued.