As a young religious woman, I looked for a role model. Who could I strive to emulate? Ah, we were told look at the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here is your role model.
So as a young teenager, a virgin, I thought about how I could be like Mary. Now Mary was about fourteen and an unwed mother, which confused me. I knew my mom and dad wouldn’t go for any story about an angel, so I figured that part wasn’t to be copied. The fact that Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, bought her story was truly miraculous. What guy would go for a pregnant girlfriend, who he never touched, telling him it was God’s child?
If Mary went to my school, I knew she would’ve been expelled. Her social worker would’ve encouraged her to: Make a choice on keeping the child; Get some sex education to find out how children are conceived; Go to a good psychologist and stop talking about the angel appearing to her. I also was sure that not a single person I knew would sing ‘Alleluia’ with the angels at the birth of my spirit-fathered child. So emulating Mary at that age was a stretch.
As a young mother I thought about Mary. Mary had one kid. I ended up, a used-to-be pure, now slightly-sullied, ex-virgin girl, with five children and six pregnancies in nine years. Mary’s boy, from all accounts, did not have a learning disability, did not fight with his sister, did not wreck his car, did not stay out all night, and did not have to take the SAT to get into college. Joseph was a good carpenter, a nice guy. They home schooled the kid and God provided child support.
The huge bonus of Mary’s life was that she did not have to worry about birth control since she was ‘Ever Virgin.’ Trust me, not worrying about getting pregnant takes a lot of stress and irritability off a woman. It takes a lot of pressure off a marriage too. “What life was like for Joseph is another story. I’ll bet he kept a lot of late nights in the carpenter shop. I mean really, he marries a pregnant girl and then finds out she will remain a virgin. Joseph may be the greatest saint of all.”