Loving Cuz

I have been married for 14 years with two daughters. We have had our share of up and downs but we are good. I didn’t have a dad but I see first hand how important it is for my girls to have their father. However this aint about us, this is about my little cousin who just turned 18 and is pregnant. My little cousin is pretty, smart, kind, talented and has always been very active in school. Furthermore my girls look up to her. In my mind, she was my first baby. Her mom and I were raised like sisters so we helped each other out a lot. My little cousin had planned to go to FAMU this Fall and I still think she should go. Her mom said she can’t go anywhere, because she has to stay here and raise her child. I do not agree with that. She still needs to leave St. Pete. Her boyfriend is in his second year at FAMU but comes home often. He said she should come with him and they could do it together. He did ask her to marry him which I thought was admirable but his mom is a different story. Since we all go to the same church. I see first hand the change in her. She has stopped speaking and I heard she is saying things like, “He is too young for marriage” and my little cousin was trying to trap her son. Well, I went to school with her husband and even though they are divorced, he married her because she was pregnant. My grand momma said her daddy married her momma cause she was pregnant. Now she wants to act all brand new like she forgot her circumstances. It’s taking all I got not to tell her a thing or two. My little cousin’s mom says she doesn’t want to talk about it with me, her daughter, or anyone else. I think she is just disappointed and overwhelmed right now. She got pregnant right out of high school too. I think we need to sit down with these young adults and help them figure this out. We need to map out a plan. What do you think? This baby is coming whether we are prepared or not. I love my little cousin and I don’t want her to feel hopeless. I want her to know that she can still have a good life.

--Loving Cuz

Dear Loving Cuz,

I agree you should call a meeting with the young couple and their parents. Tell them the devil comes to divide and conquer and the mothers are letting the devil use them. Tell them they are destroying their own children’s’ hopes, dreams and self esteem by being negative and of "so little faith." Remind them they are suppose to be Christians. That means they are suppose to have faith. Faith involves having optimistic expectations but they are expecting the worst and that aint from God. If they do not believe that their kids can do anything, their kids won’t believe either. Confidence begins at home. Don’t destroy your own children before they leave the house! I remember my sister saying, “Tammy’s children think their stuff don’t stank.” We laughed about it, but we both believed that was a good thing. I must confess, I always thought mine could do anything any other child could do if they wanted to and I expressed that. I believed, so they believed and they are doing just fine.

Well you and I believe your little cousin can marry the man she loves, have her baby, go off to FAMU together and get an apartment with a little assistance from you all. It’s been done many times before with a loving support system. I believe they can get student loans, scholarships, and jobs (the same thing they could do at home). I believe they can get day-care assistance on campus from the Education Department. I believe they will run into temptations (as all married couples do) but with prayer, they will prevail. I believe they will argue, fuss, and may even fight like siblings sometimes do but never hurt each other and have great make up sex. I believe there will come a day when one may leave the other..but will come back or one will beg the other back and recognize the error of their ways. Hopefully, they are blessed with parents that encourage them and always send them back like my daddy did me. I believe that one day, I will see them at the Power Couples Ball in their tuxedo and evening gown reading the Power Couples’ Creed.

I recently shared a post on facebook of a young couple graduating from Harvard Medical School holding and kissing their baby between them. They made it. Yes yours can make it too. The greatest of these things is love and they got that all around them.. Encourage them to do what’s right but remember... it’s their lives, their decision. And yes, you should be their to help pick up the pieces. That’s your role at this stage of the game. My dad said “You pay now or pay later.” Invest in your children now and one day they will do something for you that you cannot do for yourself.

Tampa Bay Tammy

Tampa Bay Tammy is COO of N-TOUCH News. She gives advice through her column Dear Girlfriend to entertain and enlighten her readers from near and far. 

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