Pray For Him

350px Condom rolled Pray For Him
Photograph showing rolled up condom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and in a soft voice asked me what we were going to do. I kissed her and said that we weren’t going to do anything because there was no reason to be upset.

Flames shot out of her nostrils and lightning burst from her fingertips. I can’t tell you whether I got out of bed on my own or if I was thrown but I do know for certain that I was standing across the room when I told her to take a deep breath and relax.

“Jack, the fucking condom broke! Are you stupid! I don’t want to be pregnant now!’

“I don’t want to be pregnant now” echoed in my head and I wondered if I was going to become a statistic. It was the summer before my sophomore year of college and I was having a blast. My girlfriend and I were working at a sleepaway camp as were most of my closest friends.  Each night after the campers went to bed we would all hang out and then my girlfriend and I would enjoy some time alone.

There was plenty of food, plenty of time with friends and plenty of sex. I thought that it was great and prayed that the summer would never end.

“I don’t see a reason to worry about something that might not happen. How long do we have to wait until you get your period again?”

Two or three weeks later she gave me a huge hug and told me that she her aunt had come to visit and we started breathing again.

++++++

Memories like that make for interesting moments now. I love being a father and am forever blessed but I am so very grateful that I don’t have a twenty-five year old son/daughter now. I wasn’t ready then and even though I would have done my best I know that I am a better father now than I could have been then.

I am not a perfect person or a perfect father but at forty something I have had life experiences that make me far more grounded than I was at 19. It is easy to say that and easy to remember how angry that 19 year-old kid would have been if someone had suggested he couldn’t do it. As my grandfather, may he rest in peace, used to say, “you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.”

++++++

Last night the children watched President Obama give his State of The Union. I provided color commentary while the president spoke and mentioned how the things that happen now could impact them later. I told the kids that I am angry with our government and angry with much of the country.

I told them I am angry because I don’t think that our government is working hard enough for us. I told them that too many people waste time and energy trying to prove that Democrats/Republicans are bad and not enough time trying to fix the problems that exist. I told them that too many people slept through history/civics and as a result don’t understand how the system works.

The kids asked me what I wanted and I said, “action.” I want people to shut up and work on finding real solutions to the problems we hear them cry about. My son told me that I say the same thing about him and his sister. He is right. I tell them both that I don’t care who started the fight because I am going to end it. That is what I would do here if I could.

I told them that when we find a problem we don’t just cry, we take action.

++++++

“Did you buy new condoms?”

“Why is it my responsibility to buy them? Why don’t you just go on the pill?”

She gave me the look that I had received the day of the broken condom and told me that if I expected to enjoy the same privileges I better go out and buy new condoms. I grabbed the car keys and we headed over to the drug store.

There was an older couple standing just ahead of us in line. The woman stared at the box of condoms and then looked at our hands. When she saw our ringless fingers she made a face. I stared back at her and she told her husband that they should “pray for him.”

We paid for our purchase and walked out to the car. As we passed by I heard them say that President Reagan needed to do something but what I didn’t hear what it was they wanted him to do.

++++++

I hadn’t thought about that moment in years and might not have ever done so again but last night I swear that I saw that couple standing among the crowd. Doesn’t really matter if it was them but I would have liked to have asked them if they did pray that night and if so, what did they pray for.

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  • http://frommywriteside.wordpress.com SAM

    I have 21 yr olds from a 19 yr olf union. I gave them to my parents to raise as their own because I too was not ready. They are so much better off then they ever would have been with me. I get it.

    As for the President’s State of the Union address, I find it hilarious (not really) that all those things he “demanded” are doing the exact opposite. Gas prices are going up, the rich aren’t paying taxes (even if they did, I don’t believe it would go back into the economy) and Freddie Mac is still stealing from homeowners. *Sigh*

    Great post as always, Jack.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Sam,

      You have 21 year olds, as in twins? Wow, I can see why you would have chosen as you did.

      Life experience also makes it “easier” to understand/see how things could have been had we taken a different route.

      I hear you about SOTU and the situation in general.

  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    “My 7.5 year-old asked me how long she has to wait until she can have a baby and I said 100.”

    Im lovin it!

    I stayed up to watch SOTU, myself. It came on at about 5am for me. I too was disappointed.

    When did that guy give up? Seems like a few minutes after being sworn in. Or so it seems.

    I say that in hindsight of three years of a spectacular nothing. And when did an assassination become the ace of a royal flush?

    I could be more sympathetic. I could say that American needs a President thats stand strong in the face of trouble. But standing strong doesn’t have to mean he can’t deal out the truth like a cool-handed black jack dealer.

    Or does it?

    My gut says they don’t have any fixes that work for the people, Jack. They can preserve some wealth and power but that will take them thin. My gut says it’s a lobster bake.

    Come on in, Jack, the water’s fine.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Stan,

      It is a bitch of a job and filled with pitfalls, roadblocks and misery. That is because the parties have decided that the best way to work together is not to.

      I hold all sides accountable. As for Obama, he came into office having made ridiculous promises that weren’t going to be delivered.

      Could have been the Abe Lincoln in there and it wouldn’t have happened.

      Things are broken and until we fix them…

  • http://www.daddoes.com/ Dan

    Love the idea of “action” – both in government and with the kids. I can’t believe how much talking is done with so little getting done…both in the government and when I try to get the kids to stop fighting!

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Dan,

      Well I am hopeful that the action we desire comes about sooner than later.

  • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara

    Hi, Jack, You had the action and the worries later on, wonder how a politician would view your call for action?

  • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

    There are so many things to be taken away from this post. Worry and prayer being prominent ones! :)

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      It was a learning experience in more than a few ways.

  • http://www.thegoodnessgrows.com Mimi Meredith

    I think it’s awesome you watched the State of the Union address with your children. My daughter and I were just frustrated that it preempted Glee. I have retreated so far back into my no news is good news bubble, I may never emerge. And everything you described drove me there. I’ll come out when someone decides to do something…when the inertia of political rhetoric and volleys of talking points is replaced by forward motion through the difficult process of change. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

    I’m glad you didn’t have to cut your own development short with parenthood, but I bet even then, you would have been good at it!

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Mimi,

      I know the feeling. I have been a news hound for years and always follow the elections, but I am very disappointed with what I see now.

      It has really colored things for me, but I want my children to understand how things work so that they know how to make change happen.

      Last night I was thinking a little bit about that time and I expect that I would have figured out how to be a dad, but I would have missed out on so much.

      I have friends who walked down that path and they did alright. They have wonderful children who “freak” me out because they look just like their parents did.

      But they paid a stiff price so….

  • Gina

    Dodged a could be disaster. Had the condom talk before sending our guy of to college this Fall…well I didn’t! Forgot to mention the possibility of breakage.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Gina,

      I am willing to wait to have that conversation and hope that I am given the choice to do so for a bit.

      When the time comes I am perfectly happy to do so, but… My 7.5 year-old asked me how long she has to wait until she can have a baby and I said 100.

      She told me to stop kidding. I was…sort of. ;)

  • http://www.lifeforinstance.com Lori Gosselin

    It’s always a pleasure to read your writing Jack!
    Lori

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Thank you Lori. Fortunately I wasn’t destined to become a father at 19. ;)

  • http://bridgetstraub.com bridgetstraub.com

    Another great post. I have that 25yr. old BTW. He’s great now but there were some shakey years.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      Hi Bridget,

      I can imagine. I have wondered from time to time what it will be like when my kids are that age, but I am willing to wait. ;)