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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Sunday, April 30, 2006

the child

Some time ago, before I retired from Bellsouth, I was working at a telephone pedestal alongside the roadway and noticed the approach of a young woman. She appeared to be in her late teens and was trailed at a short distance by a small girl I guessed to be almost three.

The purpose of this short trip from her rental trailer was to ask questions concerning how to get a phone hooked up to her residence.

While answering her questions I heard the anxious cries of a younger child that I was unable to see at first because of screening bushes. A small lad not much over a year old toddled into view, having only one shoe and one dirty bare foot, a scene that might have been comical in other circumstances, but I had just learned from her that she was living with her boyfriend.

She didn't appear to be negligent and walked to pick up the little boy that had slipped down several times on the uneven ground. My mind wanted to believe other scenarios, but all evidence pointed to the fact that this was an unmarried mom with two small children in a relationship without real commitment.

She did not yet have the "hard life" lines in her face, I don't know if it was just too soon for that or if she simply didn't know there was a better life than this. She walked away with one child on her hip and the other in tow and my mind glimpsed the limitations and heartache of her future.

Even though she was not my child, as I drove away, this father's heart broke and I cried for this child with children. ec

6 Comments:

Blogger Granny said...

I live in a "babies having babies" neighborhood and I was mom at barely 18.

I hear you.

4/30/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger JunieRose said...

Mreddie,

I can see you are a man with a good heart and a lot of feeling for your fellow men, women and children!

What's sad is not so much the young age of becoming a mom (or dad) but the lack of commitment.

June

4/30/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

I know two such girls who have two babies and are nearly 21. The one doesn't know a better life exists and I think the other doesn't care. It IS heartbreaking.

Your story evokes such emotion.

4/30/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger jay are said...

poetry...and sadness...
I like to think that sometime soon she steered herself to a different track...sadly, I doubt it, tho.

5/01/2006 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ A sad story that is
repeated so often, everywhere. Let us hope she found happiness later in life. Thank you for sharing this with us. Cheers, Merle.

5/01/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - It made such an impression on me that I remember it like it was last week.

junierose - One of my daughters had a child 'out of due season' and I'm very sensitive to that sort of thing. But this one has really been a blessing to us.

jayleigh - It is sad enough when they don't know there is a better life - worse still when they don't care.

jay are - Such are my hopes as well, but most times they just continue downhill into more hurt and pain.

merle - The only force I have ever seen that can change a life for the better is God's power. But even that is of no use if the person doesn't choose it. ec

5/01/2006 11:13:00 AM  

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