Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Junior Prom

                 A week before my son’s junior prom, he brought home a discussion assignment to be completed with a parent. My wife informed me it was my turn.  I read the short story a couple of times.  It was straightforward.  
                 George and Martha were in love.  They were finishing their junior year of high school.  They had agree that they both wanted to wait until marriage before they had sex.  But one night they went to far and had sex.  Martha was really scared that she would get pregnant.  It seemed an eternity until she got her period.  Out of fear that it could happen again, she went to her mother and tried to talk to her about it.  But her mother was too overwhelmed and refused.  She went to her teacher, but her teacher told her that the Board of Ed. had forbidden her to talk to students about birth control.  She went to her doctor, but her doctor told her he couldn’t talk to her about it without her mother’s permission.  None of them would help her.  Shortly, she and George went to the Junior prom.  That night they had sex and she got pregnant.  Who’s responsible?    
                 It was clear to me that George and Martha were solely responsible for their behavior.  The mother, the teacher and the doctor contributed, but they weren’t responsible.  But when I discussed it with my son, he was furious with my perspective.  He insisted that the mother, teacher, and doctor were also responsible.  I was surprised with the strength of his belief.  We rarely fight, so this took me off guard.    
                 Days later I was walking through the pharmacy picking up my medication.  I really didn’t  notice where I was, when my feet stopped.  On my left was the condom display.  I knew why my absent mindedness had brought me to this aisle.  I bought a box and took them home to my son.  When I handed them to him, his face was shocked.  It was worth it just to see his face.    
                 We never talked about it again.  I must admit, I was pleased with myself as a father.  I had given him a message about safety and responsibility.  At the very least, he wouldn’t be able to hold me responsible if anything happened.