Being the “Cool” Neighbor

This afternoon, I spent an hour talking with my friend’s daughter.  K is 19…and pregnant.  It’s sort of a tough, in-between, situation.  Although she’s not quite 20, it’s not really a “teen pregnancy” where it would be expected that her parents would step in and help.  Still, she’s not far enough into her life to really be able to do it on her own.  Her mother has allowed her to move back home, but it’s more out of generosity rather than parental burden.  She doesn’t have a high school diploma or a job and her boyfriend (who she says is supportive and ready to be a parent) is still in Alabama.  Basically, this isn’t going to be easy for her.

That said, she’s handling it amazingly well.  She’s beginning to formulate a plan and figure things out on her own.  Unlike a few of her friends, who are also pregnant, she’s taking her health and this pregnancy very seriously.  She told me that, now that she’s over the initial shock, she wants to be sure that nothing goes wrong.   She’s a smart girl…she’s just made a few wrong turns.  I won’t even say her pregnancy is a wrong turn.  She’s just had a few circumstances that have led her to make choices that I wouldn’t have made.

When K’s mom told me that her daughter was pregnant and that she’s be coming back to Georgia, I figured that I’d see her around but that I wouldn’t pry.  I’m not the sort of person who tries to get into other people’s business (although I ALWAYS want to know).  But today, while I was cleaning my car, K wandered down to my house.  She used to babysit for my kids, and she hadn’t seen them in a while, so it made sense that she wanted to come say ‘Hi’.   After she gave the kids hugs, I expected her to leave.  Instead, she sat down and made small-talk. 

I realized that she needed to talk.  I’d like to think that she came to talk to me because I’m so cool and hip.  In reality, I think she just needed to talk to somebody older who had nothing to gain or lose from her pregnancy.  She needed to talk to somebody who’d give her advice without it being emotionally charged.  Maybe she just wanted to hear about pregnancy from somebody who’d done it twice and would be honest about what it was like.

Whatever the reason, I was glad to lend an ear and give some advice.  I’d like to think that this is indicative of the relationship I’ll have with my daughter (who I’m already telling not to have babies until she’s 30).  Maybe she’ll feel comfortable to talk to me about anything.  Or maybe she’ll find her own “Cool Neighbor”.


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