Barefootin' Mama in the Middle of Nowhere

Breaking the Good News

I had never been terrified to tell someone something in my entire life. Not one of the many times I crashed my car and knew my parents would be frustrated. Not when I had cheated on previous men. Not even when I knew things that would surely hurt my dear friends’ feelings. I wasn’t the type to be scared of letting a few words fly and watching the action unfold….. until now.
Paul and I had the genius idea of telling our parents in the same night… in person… good thing that didn’t work out. We went to his parents’ house first… since they live the closest… and sat there in their living room making small talk for hours… and hours… and hours. I wouldn’t even be stretching the truth one slightest morsel if I told you we had supper and then sat in the living room until 10:30pm before Paul FINALLY worked up the nerve to tell them. It was awful… completely awful. And to make matters worse… when Paul’s dad finally did say something… (which was a whole new set of terrifying all in itself since he is one of those political types of guys who could literally talk for hours about anything and everything)… it was about how we should probably get married… it was the right thing to do. WHOA!!! Unplanned pregnancies might have equalled marriage back in the fifties.. but now?? Was he joking? I could barely wrap my head around the idea that I was going to be a mom… let alone a married one… Give me some time here buddy!
After making fun of Paul for taking so long to tell his parents… and saying something along the lines of “come on, how hard could it be?” we went to my parents’ house. I was never a rebel as a child but I wasn’t exactly bringing home gold stars my whole life either. My parents had learned how to absorb quick, random bursts of information from me that they wouldn’t exactly be pleased with… such as “I got a tattoo” or “hey I quit university” and such other things parents always love to hear. So the fact that it took me from after supper until about 11:30pm is pathetic… and I think I told them in a manner such as “hey, if you don’t think you need this rocking chair anymore could i borrow it? I think I might need one some day soon”… or something REALLY smart like that. They obviously weren’t overjoyed (i think you may be noticing a pattern here) but realized they liked me and they liked Paul so what could be worse? And I was only glad they were focusing on the issue at hand and not bringing up the fact that there was nothing on my hand… like an engagement ring!
Now for the fun part… our friends… Paul’s were easy… he just phoned them all up one by one and let them know… They were old, settled down people anyway so it didn’t phase them. They said things like “congrats” and “thats awesome” immediately.. without having to think about whether or not this was a good idea.
My friends… my best friends in the whole world… on the other hand… the thought of telling them made me wish I was still hugging the toilet bowl and praying to the porcelain gods. My friends were young… young and fun… they thought of me as the girl who drank too much, kissed too many boys, made friends with randoms, walked home when I shouldn’t and almost got kicked out of school on a much too regular of basis kind of girl… not the ‘hey i’m having a baby so my life is about to drastically change’ kind of girl. We went out for supper and I worked the whole meal to get the courage to tell them. I remember there was a table of children by us and close to the end of the meal my one friend J said something about how having children would be the worst thing in the whole entire world and she never wants kids and finds them disgusting… or something really touching like that. It was at that moment I found the guts and spilled the beans… I was pregnant. I am sure that they all immediately swallowed their true emotions and congratulated me like it was great because that’s what best friends do. Or…. maybe they really thought it was great. Whatever the reasons behind their encouragement.. and later virgin shirley temple celebration drinks on my behalf… it really made me see how great my friends were. And I made sure I let them know how much i loved and appreciated them. Because on this roller coaster of life I was on, I was about to need some major support…. and probably one or two babysitters somewhere down the line!

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