Yesterday I was talking with a coworker about people becoming parents at a young age.
For the record, I’m nearly 40 with no kids and no interest in being a parent.
When I was 20, I FINALLY slept with a girl I’d been crushing on for a few years. Unfortunately she had a boyfriend, but he was in jail. I honestly wanted a relationship with her, and we planned our future. Her boyfriend got released a week or two after we spent the night together (me and his gf, that is). She changed her mind and decided to stay with him. I was heartbroken.
A month or so later, she phoned me up. “I’m pregnant,” she said. My heart leapt into my throat. Parenthood? Can I deal with that? I guess we’ll find out…
Her next statement was not to worry, it was his. This actually came as no surprise as I didn’t “finish.” There would have still been a chance, but only a slim one.
Their relationship didn’t last much past birth from what I understand, but we didn’t reconnect. I had left town before the baby was even born.
That close call would have sent my life into a completely different realm. Had I been ‘dad’, I’d have been stuck in a minimum-wage town, struggling to make ends meet. I’d have stayed, being the best father that I could be. However, I wouldn’t have the life that I have now, the life with Wife with a house in Toronto.
Facebook friends with the “lost love” now, I’ve caught a glimpse of the girl conceived within weeks of my being with her mother. I see a wonderful girl that’s in her first year of university. I see a loving family (without jailbird dad). It does make me wonder what would have happened if my wish had come true? If I’d stayed with her? Would I have been a good father? Would I enjoy that life in small-town Ontario? Or would I have turned into a regretful alcoholic factory worker?
Actually, a few months before that hookup I was living in a disasterous, volatile relationship with a beautiful psychopath. I was 20 and employed (a relative success in the town). What do you do when you have a full time job and you feel that you’ve reached your peak? Have a baby.
We decided to stop using birth control and just “see what happens.” Of course, within a few weeks she was pregnant. I was overjoyed. We broke up (before I hooked up with the other girl), but I still wanted to be a parent. In fact, I wanted custody of our child. My family had more money, time, and resources than hers, which would have given the child a more stable life. She miscarried before we were able to come to a solution.
Those are the two times that I could have become a parent. Even though my first wife wanted children, our marriage was too rocky to bring a child into it. And after that marriage, I decided that I wasn’t getting involved in the role. Uncle Dickeybird is the best for me.
Funny how many tangents one life could have. But I’m glad I’ve got the path I’m on.