Sorry Mom, I Couldn’t Leave Him,’ 16-Year-Old Son Says Bringing Newborn Home – Story of the Day

In the wake of a bitter divorce, Betty’s life became a balancing act of single motherhood. Her son Josh’s dream was to see his family back together again. It all seemed impossible—until he came home with a newborn baby.

Our family used to be so close, but it felt fractured beyond repair after the divorce and Derek’s swift move to start anew with someone else, even before our official separation.

Josh’s attachment to his father had always been strong, making the divorce all the more difficult for him. Despite the constant fighting that had become the backdrop of our last years together, he missed the semblance of family we once had.

Finally stepping into Josh’s room, I asked what he was doing, trying to mask my own turmoil.

Sitting beside him, I couldn’t help but reminisce. “Oh, yes. It feels like a lifetime ago. Things are so different now between your dad and me. He’s changed… he seems to only think of himself these days,” I sighed.

“I just wish things could return to how they used to be,” Josh mumbled.

“Yeah, well, that’s life, Josh. Things change. Come now, get ready for school,” I added, kissing his forehead.

I wanted Josh to understand the truth about his father. He was an easy-come, easy-go kind of guy, upset at the thought of losing his freedom when we learned I was pregnant with Josh. This selfish streak had only grown over the years.

“Hi, champ!” Derek greeted Josh at the door.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

“Josh, I would like you to meet your new mommy finally, Sylvia,” Derek had said. Josh instantly felt uncomfortable with the term ‘new mommy’ but held his tongue.

“Nice to finally meet you, Josh. I’ve heard a lot about you,” Sylvia had said, shaking his hand.

Josh admitted to finding Sylvia kind and even beautiful but firmly stated she could never replace me. Their evening together, filled with puzzles and laughter, was a bittersweet revelation.

“New mommy?!” I repeated, my anger boiling over as I washed the dishes harder. “Has Derek completely lost his mind?!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Josh tried to calm the waters, suggesting Derek was joking. But I couldn’t see past the insult.

“No, Josh!! He can’t say things like that! The nerve!” I exclaimed. “Listen, I don’t want you going over there anymore!”

“Mom, that’s not fair! You can’t forbid me from seeing my father!” Josh protested, looking into my face, determined.

“I can and I will! I don’t want you contacting or communicating with him either!” I insisted with a huff.

Weeks had flown by since Josh and I had last spoken with Derek, but Josh kept in touch with Sylvia through texts. As hard as it was to admit, it was a small comfort, knowing he had some connection to his father’s life, albeit indirectly.

Then, one day, Josh received a call that turned our already tumultuous world upside down.

“Mom, it’s Sylvia,” Josh began, his voice strained. “She called me in tears. Dad left her after she told him she was pregnant. She’s alone, with no family here, and she’s scared.” He was still holding the phone in his hand.

“I’m sorry, Sylvia,” I heard Josh say into the phone. I was sorry, too, but the situation was beyond anything he, a 16-year-old, should have to deal with.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he promised Sylvia, though he glanced at me and frowned. He hung up and asked me directly if we could help.

My immediate reaction was resistance. The mere mention of Sylvia’s name brought a surge of old resentments. But seeing the desperation in Josh’s eyes, I was torn. Yet, as a mother, my protective instincts were at war with my anger towards Derek and the situation he’d left in his wake.

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