“So, what if she’s pregnant?”
Months ago, a 21-year-old man we’ll call “Michael” came to the pregnancy resource center where I work. Couples come here all the time for
a free pregnancy test to see if they’re pregnant and I, as a Men’s Mentor, often get to talk to the guys to prepare them for fatherhood. Michael was one of those guys who wasn’t sure if his girlfriend, “Katie”, a 19-year-old, was pregnant or not. We sat in my office when I asked him that question.
“Well, I’m going to get another job,” he said. “As simple as that.”
My eyes raised. I usually didn’t get such a definitive answer of confidence from the guys who come to the center.
“I already looked into apartments in the area,” he continued. “I found one that I could afford that would fit the three of us. I told her that. Now that’s with my current job though. I’m going to see if I can find another shift somewhere else to start saving up for the baby…look I had dreams, too, I wanted to be a photographer, but she’s worth the sacrifice. Her and the baby. I’ll do anything for them. I love her.”
I was moved. I was impressed. Here was a man who had a plan and was willing to make things work. I asked him where he got his drive.
“Look, in my family, it’s just me man,” he said. “I have a single mom, I’m the oldest of three, my brother and sister are four and three years old. I had to grow up fast. I didn’t know my dad, and I’m damn sure want to make sure my kid knows his.”
I picked up a rock off the corner of my desk. It was a smooth river stone and inscribed on it was an anchor and the words, “The Anchor Holds”. I handed it to Michael.
“This rock was given to me from a wife of a man who died years ago,” I said. “Before this man died, he had requested that many of these rocks were passed out to his family and friends. It was his reminder that in certain situations the father of the family sometimes has to be the rock, the anchor hold, of the family.
“I’m not saying women aren’t strong,” I said as he agreed smiling and nodding. “We both know they are. I’m saying sometimes in rocky situations like this, someone has to hold the fort. To be the level one that leads the way. You my friend, are demonstrating that you are capable of being this rock, the anchor hold. You should be proud. I am proud of you.”
I also told him how, when I got married last year, circumstances had it that I was jobless at the very beginning of my marriage. But I had to trust and a couple jobs thankfully landed on my lap as well. I assured him that if he holds strong and works hard, it will work out for him, too.
It turned out that Katie was pregnant. Weeks later, Michael told me that he was planning to propose. They recently got married and moved into their new apartment. I couldn’t be more proud of this rock of a man who stepped up.