“But you’re so young….”

This phrase has been uttered more than a few times after another person learns I am pregnant.  During the first trimester, when we kept things quiet, I often anticipated this response, wondering how I would react, what I would say.

“But you’re so young…”

It happens.  More than I would like it too, although less often than the infuriating “was it planned?”  Somedays I laugh, and it rolls off my back.  Then there are the other times when I have to plaster a fake-yet-polite smile to my face, finish the conversation, and then seethe, sulk, and swear once I am in private.

When did twenty-five become the new “young”?  I graduated high school in 2004, and took a year off to work and travel before starting my first year of university.  I finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009, and worked for a year before starting my Bachelor of Education.  I got married in 2010, and move across the country with my husband so we could start a new chapter of our life-a new university in a new town, with a new apartment filled with all the lovely things we had received as wedding gifts.  I survived my eight-month program, he found a job.  We were financially stable.  We joined a church and made friends.  We were a little two-person family, and we wanted to add another tiny person into the mix.

“But you’re so young…”

So.  High school, university, professional degree, plans for more schooling down the road (that’s for Jason), a nice tidy apartment, minimal debt, steady employment, solid relationship.  Does “young” matter?

I understand today’s pre-occupation with all things “young”.  I got the same comments when Jason and I were first engaged.  While twenty-five still remains the average age for a first-time mother, I am a wee bit of an anomaly within my social circle.  My fellow female students from teacher’s college, though open about desires to have children, are waiting-waiting for better job security, higher education, more money, home ownership, the right partner, etc, etc, etc.  All very good reasons to wait.  And they’re not alone.  And as a result, here I am at twenty-five…

“But you’re so young…”

But what does that mean?  When people say it to me, what do they really mean?  Sometimes I think “so young” is code for “too young”.  Or that “so young” means “why the hell would you want to do that?!?!?!?”  Or “so young” means “dear god is this going to be difficult for you, not owning any property or having a job with guaranteed maternity leave.”  I wish people would say what they really mean, instead of hiding behind confusing phrases.

Am I really so young?  I think not.  I think I’m at the perfect time in my life to have a child.  Jason agrees.  And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.  And that’s what I have to keep telling myself.  “But you’re so young” can come from a place of concern, a place of confusion, a place of shock, a place of judgment.  What I need to do is remain confident in my decision, despite what others may say.

So young?  No.  Just right.

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