Auntie says: Learn to do the right thing

“I began writing a column about learning from your past mistakes but my mind started to wander…”

Faye Arcand is a columnist with the Penticton Western News. (File Photo)

Faye Arcand is a columnist with the Penticton Western News. (File Photo)

I began writing a column about learning from your past mistakes but my mind started to wander and a memory of a family I knew over twenty years ago came to mind. I didn’t know them well but the mother was a work acquaintance.

The son, always a polite young man, was quite striking in his appearance and very athletic. He dreamed of playing professional sports and travelling the world. Focused and driven, he was on track until he and his girlfriend got pregnant.

I remember the boy’s mother was devastated by the news. Something that should be such a joyous occasion brought tears of resignation. Nothing for this family would be the same ever again. There was no escaping it — the two high school students were having a baby and my friend was going to be a grandmother.

I remember thinking that those two didn’t know what they were in for. With a baby, they’re forever linked through life and though the notion of babies and playing house sounds romantic, reality rears its ugly head pretty quickly.

The relationship between the teens survived for a while but fell apart shortly after the baby was born. The teen mom went onto social assistance while the young man returned to his mother’s home and back to his pursuing his dreams.

So, life goes on. Until about a year later the young man and woman reconcile and yup, you guessed it, babe number two was on the way. The couple learned absolutely nothing from the first go-round so they ended up in the same predicament with the same outcome. He left town again and now there were two babes without a dad.

I felt bad for his mother. She was embarrassed as her son made choices and seemed oblivious that they affected others around him. He wasn’t ready to be a father for the second time any more than he was the first time.

She found it difficult to maintain a relationship with the baby’s mom in her son’s absence as the blame game always came into play. The young mom needed help — physically, emotionally, and financially. She ended up moving back in with her parents and my friend, the ‘other’ grandma, didn’t push for a relationship with her grandchildren. She never forgot them but it was like she gave up. The situation from every single angle is extremely sad.

What’s even sadder is it happened a third time. Yes, you read that correctly. The young man returned to town and babe number three followed relatively soon. The irresponsible behaviour of both these young people is deplorable and selfish.

They now have network reality shows like Teen Mom that focus on the relationships of such young people. The drama is there for all to see and hopefully, teens will be appalled and make wiser choices. These shows are popular and pathetic but one good thing is that it’s all recorded for posterity so the teens involved can watch later and see how immature and self-centred they were.

There is a shared responsibility in relationships. I’m a realist. I know young people have sex but I want them to do it safely and smartly. It’s not just the responsibility of the girl to be on birth control, a young man also needs to be prepared because the affected people go beyond the couple and the consequences are life-changing.

I have no idea what happened with the family I knew so many years ago. Perhaps the young couple eventually stayed together or had ten more babies, idk. Those babies would now be in their late teens to early twenties and old enough to make their own mistakes. I hope they learned something from their parents.

I wouldn’t refer to the birth of any child as a mistake — it’s a blessing — but in this day and age (as it was also 20 years ago) there is no excuse for an unplanned pregnancy. Learn from that or you’re doomed to repeat it. The cause and effect are easily predictable. Be smart.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan. She can be reached through her website at http://www.fayeearcand.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read