Last night’s penultimate season 2 episode of Teen Mom 2 was an hour and a half roller coaster of emotions and learning the hard way via the school of hard knocks. We’ve admittedly got a soft spot for our girls and find ourselves pulling for them to break through the very real problems they face and to better themselves for the future of their children.
Sometimes we’ve got to tell it like it is and for Leah I’m sure the comments heading her way in light of her revealing that she cheated on Corey in the week leading up to their wedding with Robbie Kidd will be fast, furious and sometimes brutal.
I’m a father of a little girl and I was also that age once and while we shouldn’t dismiss mistakes the four moms from TM2 make I try to remember what life was like for me back then. I also, against my own better judgment sometimes, find myself believing in the best of Kailyn, Leah, Chelsea and yes even the girl we labeled back during her 16 & Pregnant episode as a “foul-mouthed firecracker,” Jenelle.
I was reminded once again last night what a game changer these shows are and how they have me reflect on my own life as a father and a husband. There was the tears from Barbara when her own little girl was leaving to fly across the country. There was the unconditional love of Leah’s mom and Corey’s dad as these two kids were thrown into a whirlwind of very adult decisions and emotions. I saw the way Jo reacted when he was with Kailyn and Isaac and how his discussion with his brother reflected an experience-based maturity. I saw Chelsea pushing forward to get her GED and her dad and mom there for her providing guidance and, most importantly, love.
When the show closed as you witnessed Leah overcome when it hits her that she’s going through with a divorce, I was personally reminded of a song and I thought I’d share it for the TM2 moms and for others out there who are in these moments of hard choices where neither path is pretty. The song is called “Spare Parts” and it’s all about finding grace, strength, and conviction in the face of pain and disappointment.
“Spare Parts” by Bruce Springsteen:
Bobby said he’d pull out Bobby stayed in
Janey had a baby it wasn’t any sin
They were set to marry on a summer day
Bobby got scared and he ran away
Jane moved in with her ma out on Shawnee Lake
She sighed Ma sometimes my whole life feels like one big mistake
She settled in in a back room time passed on
Later that winter a son came along
And broken hearts
Keep the world turnin’ around
Now Janey walked that baby across the floor night after night
But she was a young girl and she missed the party lights
Meanwhile in South Texas in a dirty oil patch
Bobby heard ’bout his son bein’ born and swore he wasn’t ever goin’ back
Janey heard about a woman over in Calverton
Put her baby in the river let the river roll on
She looked at her boy in the crib where he lay
Got down on her knees cried till she prayed
Mist was on the water low run the tide
Janey held her son down at the riverside
Waist deep in water how bright the sun shone
She lifted him in her arms and carried him home
As he lay sleeping in her bed Janey took a look around at everything
Went to a drawer in her bureau and got out her old engagement ring
Took out her wedding dress tied that ring up in its sash
Went straight down to the pawn shop man and walked out with some good cold cash
A lot of time has passed since the events that unfolded from last night’s episode, From all accounts, Kailyn, Chelsea, Leah and Jenelle are moving forward and working to make things better for themselves and their children. Are they making mistakes along the way? Of course. Just like the rest of us they stumble and fall but they haven’t quit and I hope that from time to time they see the grace around them and in the hearts of Isaac, Jace, Aubree, Ali and Aleeah.
Broken hearts and spare parts are part of the deal, it’s what you make of them that matters.
And for those of you who think you’re up for it, Bruce ramps up the frustration and the volume for this life-altering live performance of the song from 1988. (There is a long, wonderfully quiet piano intro that I’ve skipped – feel free to jump back to the beginning of the clip for the absolute full Monty)