I had thought Michigan State, possibly Law School.
My locker partner and I, perfect roommates.
She would take the top bunk, of course.
Crooked pleats in my cheerleading skirt, the research paper for first hour, a curfew thirty minutes too soon, the stressors of my day.
My hair blew in the breeze, the radio swelled.
A stiff cardboard box poked at my thigh.
I would flunk this test then move on with my plans.
Hockey game at seven, friends honking in the drive before long.
Two pink lines streaked a detour sign.
Tears poured down teenage cheeks.
Disappointment raged in once hopeful eyes.
My next high school party, a baby shower.
Spindly legs bracing the heaviness of change.
Waddling through the choice of forever, slowly making peace.
A child with a child, the challenge of motherhood beckoned me forward.
I still needed rocked myself.
Blooming in a role not looked for but taken.
Loving beyond a teenage mind’s understanding.
An unexpected path stretched before me, I chose not to look back.
Those tiny footprints next to mine,
worth every step.
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“I still needed rocked myself.”
Oh, how this line blows me away.
Very well done!! And you weren’t going to participate.
Amy (The_BMG) says
This was an absolutely wonderful piece. I love the way you wrote it. I’m sure it was the scariest detour, but the best in the end!
Jessica! I LOVED this piece! I love the structure…how you can pack so much into so few words. That is one of my favorite talents a writer can have.
Each line is so simple, yet thrusts the story forward.
My favorite line:
“I would flunk this test then move on with my plans.”
It foreshadows so much about the very next “test” you would “flunk” and NOT move on with your plans.
This is absolutely beautiful.
Thanks so much Katie, I’ve been taking notes from someone very talented in this area ;).
phenomenally done. love.
Varda (SquashedMom) says
You don’t need yet one more person to come by and tell you how lovely this was, but I’m doing it anyway… Love this! Beautiful writing, amazing story, full of emotion and wisdom. Thank you.
Sugar Mama says
I felt ALL of that. My next party was also my baby shower. My college plans were also changed. I felt every word of this. It took me back to the very moment I saw the pregnancy test.
SO proud of you for sharing this very intimate moment in your life.
So glad you stopped by to read. You have definitely inspired me to share. Thank you.
I loved this! “Ditto” what has already been said —
“Two pink lines streaked a detour sign” and “Spindly legs bracing the heaviness of change.”
Beautiful! Well done, Jessica! I, too, will head back to read some past posts.
Absolutely beautiful…and very brave. Excellent job with the prompt.
One of my nieces is 17 and raising her own little detour. It’s a tough life.
Well now that we know that we don’t live far from each other, please let your niece know that I am here if she needs support. I would be more than happy to help her in any way I can.
Nichole beat me to it, but yes, this “Spindly legs bracing the heaviness of change.” Perfection. All of it really.
I wish other girls who find themselves on that same detour today could read this. But there is a lesson for all of us in there as well. Embrace, proceed and bloom. And what a gorgeous bloom you are Jessica.
Aww, thank you so much Ash, what an amazing compliment.
I love the way you structured this piece.
Keeping your sentences shorter, with meaning packed into each and every word, really worked.
I love this line, “Spindly legs bracing the heaviness of change.”
Gorgeous. And brave.
Thanks so much Nichole, your compliments always mean so much. I miss those spindly legs, and the cheerleading skirt. 😉
AmyBeth Fredricksen says
The style of writing here is perfect for the short story prompt.
Your words are beautiful!
Cheryl @ Mommypants says
I lovely way to frame what your life was before the “detour.”
Cheryl @ Mommypants says
Also, I’m glad you’re writing more about this time in your life. 😉
You cracked the shell, Cheryl ;). Thank you.
This was so lovely to read, I wonder if it wasn’t a detour so much as your unmarked path.
Definitely was my unmarked path, for many, many reasons.
Mom Went Crazy says
That was such an amazing post! No matter what age a woman becomes a mother she can be a good one. That’s awesome
And what a detour!
This is beautiful. Though I wasn’t a young mother, I so understand that loving more than you could ever imagine.
What a beautiful detour indeed. My own daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me:)
Jennie B says
Such great writing and depth of feeling. My heart breaks and is uplifted at the same time.
What a clever idea for a detour.
Mad Woman behind the Blog says
Loved HOW you wrote this. Short descriptive sentences painting a full rich picture with so few words.
Denelle @CaitsConcepts says
Beautiful. I loved this. And they always are worth it, no matter how unexpected. =)
Mrs. Jen B says
Whoa. “Two pink lines streaked a detour sign”. If I could only write something like that…
Signed, someone who was a detour herself. 🙂
What a beautiful poem about your choice and an amazing “detour”. xo
I loved how beautiful this was and yet how it still maintained the voice of a teenager with flickers of an older, wiser loving you.
For this line, ‘I still needed rocked myself.’ I wondered if you meant ‘I still needed rocking myself.’
You really perfectly capture this moment.
There were so many great and poetic lines in here, but I especially loved: Blooming in a role not looked for but taken.
oooohh…i always LOVE your posts. They truly touch my heart. A tough path indeed. I was 20…and it was still hard…so I can hardly imagine what that path was like. Stopping from RDC…but I love all your other work too 🙂
that is the cutest detour I have ever seen. Our life takes us so many places we never planned, but sometimes those are the best trips.
Elena @NaynaDub says
What an amazing piece! I think I’m going to make it my mission to go back and read all of your previous posts (from before I started visiting) because I can’t get enough of your writing.
Wow, thank you so much, such a compliment! Although don’t read back too far, I didn’t start really “writing” until the last year or so. 😉
Thank you, thank you for this post. I think sometimes about the expressions of disapproval and disappointment that often accompany the news of surprise pregnancies. But once “the choice of forever” is made, we must embrace and support those who will nurture the beautiful new addition to our world. I began my own unexpted detour twelve years ago. Thank you. This was so beautiful.
I like how you write. It’s so full of imagery. I loved these lines, “Two pink lines streaked a detour sign.” Yet, you made this detour and your closing words show how some detours, which are scary at first end up being gifts:~)
Nicely written, I could feel your pain.
Life As I Know It says
Beautiful and REAL. Sometimes detours are the best way to go even though we may not realize it until later.
Ilana @ mommyshorts says
That was amazing and so well- written. Two pink lines streaked a detour sign is just perfect as a transition. Very well done.
I love the simplicity of this. Yet it says so much. Beautiful!
Stunning words to describe a beautiful detour.
Absolutely beautiful Jessica… absolutely breathtaking.
It had to be a terrifying yet wonderful detour!
My heart has melted.
This is so beautiful and honest.
How lucky your daughter is.
How lucky you are.
Dani G says
You’ve grown into a really great writer. This is beautiful. Love the line about two pink lines streaking the detour sign.
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
Oh how sweet. Poetic.
JDaniel4's Mom says
Well done! I love how this post flows from one point to another with little effort!
Galit Breen says
This was so beautifully written. Goosebumps inducing, really.
I experienced a similar detour in my life. Your writing is great and this story is very powerful and can relate to it. Very well done for a detour in your life.
Your words are so powerful!
Heather H says
Beautiful post…love it!
Amy Hillis says
I had Veronica when I was 19. I was out of school, but not the way it was meant. I was nothing more than a kid myself -so I can relate. I love the big images in the tiny words – The post looks sparse – but it’s beautiful in it’s imagery. Well done.
Awww! I love it.
An absolutely beautiful piece. I love your detour–well worth taking.
Incredible writing. Beautiful story. Wow. Love.
You captured these moments so powerfully….sweet, lulling along in the beginning, then tears…eventually replaced with the goodness of those tiny footprints.
You are just the best writer, always making me feel like we’re just talking. Beautiful!
Crayon Wrangler says
Now that was a test worth failing and a detour worth taking.
You never fail to take what could be a bad situation and make it into something totally beautiful and inspiring.
That is seriously beautiful loved every word of it!