I can’t believe in less than 5 years later and multiple students have babies or are pregnant. I often think, “did I fail them? Was I too open? It was my fault they got pregnant.” I should have only taught abstinence. I shouldn’t have told them about my struggles. Being an open book was too open.
But I wanted them to learn. I wanted them to choose the right way. And if they didn’t choose the right way, I wanted them to, at least, choose the safer way.
Yet their bodies called.
The lure of lust, popularity, attention, and curiosity pulled. Constantly in front of them, I watched the battle, some hardly fighting, if fighting at all.
If he wanted it, he could get it, easily.
There was no “my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” There wasn’t even the sheer integrity of I’m worth more than what you bringin.
Instead, it was the “his hair is cute”, the “he makes me laugh” and the “he’s fine” that pretty much whisked unmentionables off in secret spaces prior to rounds of tickled secrets told in the dark.
As much as I wanted to save them – as much as I tried – I couldn’t.
Letting them know it was okay and normal to have those feelings while letting them in on the risks wasn’t enough.
Instead, legs flew open, and tests came back positive. Maybe not the first test. Maybe not the 15th. But eventually, the test came back positive.
If not anything else, I said use birth control. But even that, at times, was too much to ask. And I get it. Taking a pill at the same time every day is annoying, sometimes hard to remember, and sometimes we just don’t care enough to do it. That is until the test comes back positive.
Now my heart hurts because I feel like I failed you. I failed your parents. I failed my church. I failed myself. Nothing I did matters because I failed.
Now I watch these same students, turned adults, struggle as they look to support their families, yet have a hard time with consistent employment, some not in school. They struggle with where the next meal is going to come from and how they will provide shelter over both their own and their kids heads is real. And it hurts.
Knowing that I tried…not for me, but for you.
Ballin ain’t always about the how many numbers you can pull or how many dudes hittin you up. You gotta get it in in school and you gotta make wise decisions. That’s all I ever really wanted them to know. It’s okay to tell him no. I did. I still do, and I’m a grown woman.
I’m not sorry. My goods are a bit too valuable for just anyone to get up in it. I’m pretty sure I’ll always live like that. Not just cause momma told me but because I know my worth.