Promises I Can Keep
Adult non fiction
Teen pregnancies are more than just statistics. With every one
there is a very young woman and the vulnerable infant she brings into
the world and now is responsible for, often with no help whatsoever
from the baby daddy. She often faces formidable obstacles. I'm sure
I'm not the only woman who wonders why a girl, usually not out of high
school, will accept and often take pride and joy in the situation.
Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas' Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women
Put Motherhood Before Marriage is a wealth of insight into this topic.
Edin and Kefalas spent a lot of time in some of the most
impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia and neighboring Camden, New
Jersey. Their research style was up close and personal. Edin, for
instance, resided in one of the neighborhoods 2 1/2 years,
volunteering, talking with a wide range of neighborhood people and
community leaders, and making sure her then three-year-old did not
pick up broken glass or other urban detritus. Their subjects, whom
they got to know really well, were 162 low-income single mothers.
"...Their stories offer a unique point of view on the troubling
questions of why low-income, poorly educated women have children they
can't afford and why they don't marry. Promises I Can Keep follows
the course of couple relationships from the earliest days of courtship
through the tumultuous months of pregnancy and into the magic moment
of birth and beyond. It shows us what poor mothers think marriage and
motherhood mean, and tells us why they nearly always put motherhood
Made eminently readable by a perfect blend of background and
narrative, Promises I Can Keep is quietly earthshaking. It strongly
challenges what most people (including myself) believe about unwed
motherhood. It flies in the face of the charges made by conservative
politicians who demonize the poor to win elections.
...if you dare.
On a personal note, last night was my first school committee meeting
as official chair. I'd been elected chair last month after Gavin quit
in January. I did better than I expected. I guess what I lack in
organization I make up in passion and charisma.
A great big shout out goes out to Gavin for the years of excellent
leadership he gave the Veazie School Committee. Miss you, Gavin.
Hope you're having good times out there in Glenburn.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod