Sunday, March 2, 2008

Because The Baby Is Now Having Her Own Baby

Remember that Johnson baby powder commercial with the tagline "Because the baby is now a lady"? I once read a pun on the said tagline which goes: "Because the lady now has a baby". It was kind of funny back then. But I'm not being funny at all with my title.

The latest talk of our town in our place are these two teenage pregnancies. The young moms-to-be are around 14 or 15. They are not the first teenage mothers in our place, nor they're going to be the last.

I feel a bit sad about their circumstances, or, more appropriately, how their circumstances came about. Both girls live in small houses. So small, in fact, that all the family members sleep in one room. Which is why the parents thought it's okay to let their daughters' boyfriends sleep in their home. What's the harm, right? They can see whatever hanky panky the lovers would be doing and can put a stop into it. How awfully wrong they were.

I guess there's no use wondering how the young lovers could actually consummate their love in such cramped spaces, because there is no question that they got away with it. As one of our gossipy neighbor would put it, "ilang minuto lang kaya ng iraos yan". And I've been thinking about that phrase and it's contributing to my view of how sad their affair is. Imagine being introduced to sex at such a young age, but only to the hurried, on-the-sly kind. Can one really appreciate its joys when you only have few minutes to spare? (The gossipy neighbor put it to 3 minutes, tops. 3 minutes? Wouldn't the act of undressing consume those precious minutes already? Or are sex in the movies just plain gratituous?). Whatever happened to foreplay?

Okay, on a serious note, more than worrying if any of these girls were getting any "o" from it(because if you choose to engage in pre-marital sex, you might as well enjoy it and not be in a big I-feel-so-guilty-and-pressured-and-ashamed state), I worry about the quality of life their child will get. Obviously, their families are not rich. How do you expect a 14 year old to provide for her own child?

I realize that I am worrying again about a problem that's not my own. But how can one hear these sort of news and not be affected at all? Maybe thinking about it would not contribute to a solution to the problem. What I can give are just a few unsolicited guidelines to our youth with raging hormones:

- Before you decide whether you want to engage in sex at such an early age (whether with a significant other or through a professional), think about this: is the money you're going to spend for condom, motel room, service fee, etc. a product of your own sweat? Because if what you're spending is the allowance that your parents gave you, better think twice, moron. Not only are you a horny, ungrateful, insensitive brat, but you're a, well, that just about covers it. It's not your parents' obligation to give money to you, but they give it to you hoping that you'll put a good use to it. No, you don't have to invest it, but at least spend it for your education or other worthwhile recreation, not on something that could have some serious repercussions later on.
- If you're being thick-headed about this and decide to "just do it", then for heaven's sake!, practice safe sex! If you can't afford a condom or pills, then learn how to count the days of the month. A few days of waiting and celibating will not kill you.
- Whatever the outcome, don't let your child suffer the effects of your stupidity. It's bad enough that your child is the product of one big hormonal meltdown, but don't ever dare consider an abortion, don't drink and smoke and keep healthy while you're pregnant and please, start being responsible and find a damn job and a means to give your young family a decent life.
- And yes, enjoy sex. And I mean every part of it - the kissing, the touching, the act, the after-sex talk and cuddling. Maybe it was created purely for creation, maybe not. Maybe you're doing it for lust, maybe you're saving it for the one you love. Whatever your reasons are, better make it worth it.

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