Use Your Words - Tough Decision

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Industry ~ children ~ outside ~ safety ~ playing 

They were submitted by: On the Border  - Thank you, Diane! 

In January our Miller family from New York City arrived in Switzerland. They've been hitting a few bumps trying to adjust. Recently Mom Caroline reconnected with her college boyfriend and we don't quite know where this might be going. All in I feel they're getting settled in.

Time for me to meet with Marietta Howard. Who is she again? Marietta, Kyra's older sister, is the 14 year old daughter of former clients of mine who came to Switzerland a couple of years ago, and I helped them with housing, schooling, pretty much the same I've been doing for the Millers. 

Kyra Howard and Victoria Miler have become best friends, and sometimes they hang out with Marietta and her friends.

So last month they called and asked me to come over to discuss something in confidence.

As the Mom of a hockey guy I wasn't prepared for what was awaiting me at their house:

Three girls between 11 and 14, one of them crying, the others trying to calm her down, the TV running, soda cans, cookie boxes and ice cream containers laying around everywhere, lots and lots of used tissues - and a bag from the drug store. Uh-oh.

Turned out Marietta was late. Like five or six weeks late.

The home pregnancy test she took was inconclusive, and she was horrified, unsettled and plain desperate. So I called my gynaecologist and begged her to squeeze my young friend in for an emergency appointment to which I took her the same day.

Sure enough the doc confirmed Marietta was approaching her ninth week of pregnancy. The ultrasound revealed the little creature's heartbeat, and people, let me tell you, Marietta's and my heartbeat was pretty palpable as well. 
Oh man.

So today I'm meeting with her, and we're sitting on a bench at Lake Zurich, it's finally getting spring, and the warmer temperatures encouraged people to get outside. Children are playing, birds are chirping, the world seems to be in order. Well, the swans', ducks' and pigeons' world. 

Marietta's and her family's? Not so much.

Her Mom had taken her to a counselling service, and they've been discussing her options. There was no easy way to make a decision, and Marietta's first trimester was almost over, so terminating the pregnancy was ruling itself out on its own.

"So how's it going?" I carefully ask.

"At least I don't feel like puking so much anymore. My jeans barely fit, and I ask myself what I'm doing in school. It seems kind of pointless."

"Why would you say that?"

"Well, it looks like I will be doing stroller walks and diaper changes in the near future."

"Wow, so you've decided to be a Mom, congratulations! How do you feel about that?"

She shrugs. 

The interesting thing about hormones is that at some point being terrified is taking a backseat in favor of plain old Mama Bear's protective instincts. She's going to have a baby, ready or not.

What person, female or male is ever really ready for that journey called parenting anyway?

Every industry is carefully preparing their future executives: doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, they all get years and years of theoretical education and training on the job before they even get a business card. Patients or clients' safety is on the line, you mustn't screw up.


Sure, there's prenatal medical care, if you sign up for it there are some slide shows about contractions and beyond, maybe a video about the birthing process, a lactation consultant at your bedside telling you to keep trying "it's important for the baby", and then you're on your own. 

I guess when you're 14 - she'll be almost 15 by the time the baby is supposed to arrive - you have no job to try and leverage skills from. I sure did - and failed. Babies just don't get those memos anyway. 

"You'll listen to your gut and you'll get the hang of it, plus you're not alone." This is all the advice she'll ever get from me.

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