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08.05
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Being Judged

Written By Dani

We all have side stories to our life. An individual should not be judged if the side story isn’t known. School was very stressful for me during my freshman year. Trying to keep my grades up, doing every assignment, and making sure I’m passing my classes. On a stressful day of school, I was given the task of picking my wonderful little baby brother, whose name is Diego, from his babysitter. I’m walking down the street with an empty stroller containing only a Gatorade, my headphones plugged into my ears, filling my ears with music. As I’m walking down the street, I can feel pairs of eyes watching me, just staring into my soul. The look of confusion filled the people’s faces as they see me walking down the street with an empty stroller in hand. The tension inside of me rises as they keep staring into my soul. For a minute everything stopped and stared. The trees, the rocks, the cars, everything and everyone stared. Finally reaching my destination, which felt like it took hours, I knock on the door patiently waiting for the door to open. Through the thick door, I can hear a baby cry in fear. Was the fearful cry coming from Diego? Did something happen to him?, I thought.  A worried feeling runs through my veins, traveling through my body, wishing that the door would open to relieve the worriedness inside of me.  The door finally opens to reveal Diego hiding behind a toy, his eyes filled with fear as he looks up at me. Seeing me must have relieved the fear in him as he begins to crawl towards me. His small, chubby arms reach into the air in a motion which indicates that he wants me to carry him. I retrieve all his belongings, thanking his babysitter for taking wonderful care of Diego. Carefully strapping Diego into his stroller, I refill his bottle with Gatorade in order to keep him from dehydrating. One earbud in my ear with the volume low enough to give my ears the space to hear Diego in case he needs anything, I walk down the same old street with Diego in the stroller happily drinking his Gatorade. From a small distance, I can see two ladies sitting in two chairs across from each other, talking probably about some gossip, drinking some coffee. As I walk by them, I can hear them say something about me, something about Diego and I. “Look at that girl. She already has a child!”, says the first lady. 

“She probably sleeps with every guy she meets! The baby shouldn’t be raised by a mother like her!”, replies the second lady. I pretend to not be listening, but their words seem to have a small effect on me. I began to stare into space as I think about the words said about Diego and I. Someone yells at me, snapping me from my thoughts, “Hey! Cover your baby!”, says one of the ladies. I reply with a nice thank you, covering Diego to prevent the sun from hitting his innocent body. As I walk away, I can hear the two ladies beginning to whisper more gossip and laugh but I did not pay attention for their whispers were too far to me to hear. The subject of teen moms pop into my head as I continue to think about the ladies’ words.

Teen moms should not be judged for being a mom at a young age. I may not be a teen mom but I have experienced a life as a “teen mom”. Being responsible for a baby brother while parents are out working, is not an easy lifestyle. Everywhere I go with Diego by my side, I am judged and seen as a “teen mom”. Those individuals don’t know that Diego is my brother; they see him as my son. Individuals talk amongst each other, talking about Diego and I. Even though I’m not a teen mom, it still affects me, the words hurt, knowing that this is the life a teen mom lives. I have experienced how their spare time is taken away in order to take care of a baby, making sure the baby is fed, changed, bathed, and healthy. A baby requires responsibility even for those who aren’t teen moms. I’m not complaining about having to take care of a baby because I love spending my spare time with Diego. But now in society, individuals don’t care about other side’s story. Everyone is judged for something unusual such as teen moms. Having experienced a life of a “teen mom” gave me the experience to see how they live and  to experience the way they are judged for a mistake they made. I have respect for every teen mom out there. No one is perfect, individuals shouldn’t be judged if we don’t know their side story.