This may be a bit off topic but this morning I was contemplating that when I was yet younger than my son who will turn 18 at the end of this month, I had already married. Inconceivable to me now. Today I thought – what were my parents thinking ? We had all the trappings – church wedding, cake, reception – totally traditional.
So I thought – they were afraid I would end up pregnant like my mom ended pregnant with me before she married. They wanted to break the cycle. And I did. Then, I got pregnant by the end of the year I had married. It was intentional and neither myself nor my ex-husband regret having our daughter. As he said to me not all that long ago – “We got lucky.” Even though our marriage failed.
I cannot imagine my son being expected to support his family and be independent at the age he is now. But we were expected to do that very thing. My parents had been expected to do that as well – my dad 18 and my mom 16. Having grown up middle class, not privileged but not in abject poverty, fed on the illusions TV portrayed to me – I had unrealistic expectations and expected too much of us.
It’s no wonder the marriage failed. When I wanted a divorce, my ex-husband told me he would never pay a cent of child support to me. That proved to be true as well. What happened is – he ended up supporting her through most of her childhood, when as a single mom, I could not. I wasn’t going to fight with him in court to get support out of him for the rest of our lives as “parents”. But I paid a high price – as I wasn’t able to raise my own child, to be there for her everyday, and it was not without suffering on the part of my daughter as well.