"The more things change…"

“Sal de mi camino..make way for the funky bilingual…” Latin Lingo, Cypress Hill

Over a decade ago, I had the power of women(or lack thereof) at my mental forefront. A self-proclaimed gritona, I took it as my personal responsibility to be a mouse that roared, to speak for all the women I knew and didn’t know about whatever issue I felt needed some thought. It was a role I embraced proudly and I weathered every criticism and controversy I sparked.

These days, I lead a quiet insurrection, much more personal in some ways, maybe a little more private than my days as a college journalist. My insurrection is still about a woman’s power but my role is now one of the greatest personal duty most humans can have, that of parent. As I make choices about my daughter’s future, I know I will be her guide in how to be a woman and a powerful one at that.

Already I can tell a lot about her personality. She is willful, assertive, energetic, responsive, aware. Whether she’s kicking and punching up a storm on ultrasound or samba dancing across my body, my little girl is her own person. Still she is protected from the world at large, both by my body and by her innocence. I’ll fight this first fight for her.

There are a few people who have cut off all contact with me. Sadly, they are associates I have met through my work in Catholic ministry. Most church friends have been compassionate and understanding. They realize that, dogma aside, I am a mature adult, completely capable of raising a moral child as a single mother. But I am ironically saddened to have been cast aside without so much as a well-intentioned lecture of cliches and warnings. I tend to be very aware of society’s shortcomings and parameters but I thought my friends might be above judging me. Most were. Some are not.

If I were a man, would it be different? Then I’d have the luxury of not telling anyone about this child’s imminent birth. Men don’t get pregnant out of wedlock. But given the choice between a shotgun wedding to save face and my current life, I’d choose my life as it is today. I am happily pregnant, happily looking forward to motherhood, ready to face the challenges of being unmarried and Catholic. No se como ser otra.

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