Stop the presses! Here’s a scoop for you. Lynne Spears, that paragon of parenting, mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn, has lost her book deal. This following the announcement that 16-year-old Jamie Lynne, the star of one of those interminable Nickelodeon teen TV series, is 12 weeks pregnant.
The book, “Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World” was characterized by the publisher as “a parenting book that’s going to have faith elements.” It had been scheduled for a Mother’s Day 2008 release.
Drat. Guess I’ll have to take that one off of my Amazon wish list.
I was really looking forward to her explaining how to tell the difference between “edgy” and “soft core” when my teen girls start appearing in music videos. I’m sure she could give some great advice on shopping for rehab facilities and fashion tips on what to wear to custody hearings and court-mandated drug screenings. Oh, and just imagine the chapter on driver etiquette.
Mama Lynne, ever the lemonade maker, characterized her younger daughter as “always conscientious” and (one who) never violated curfew. Yeah, we all know babies are only made after midnight.
Don’t get me wrong. Every baby is a gift and every woman who chooses childbirth over abortion is, in my estimation, a hero. That said, I can’t think of any woman who’s had a surprise pregnancy in her teens who would recommend the experience for anyone else. It’s a blessing, yes, but it’s also very, very hard. Emotionally, financially, socially, educationally, you name it. Every aspect of life becomes exponentially more difficult.
For the past 21 years I’ve operated a resale clothing store that carries infant and maternity wear. For 21 years, I’ve met girls as young as 13 who were shopping for prom dresses one day and preemie sleepers the next. I’ve seen scholarships declined and quickie marriages fail in a matter of weeks. I’ve seen a lot of grandparents alter their life plans to allow for raising a grandchild or three.
These people don’t have the option of selling their baby shower pictures to a tabloid for a kajillion dollars or allowing a camera crew in the delivery room to “share” the blessed event with the masses. Actually, most of the moms I know have far too much class to do that even if the offers were made. They just soldier on, going to work and school, bleary from nights spent rocking colicky babies.
Jamie Lynn, I wish you, your child and your baby daddy well. I hope you persevere, deliver a healthy bundle of Cajun joy and manage to figure out how to salvage your career if that’s what you choose.
I’m sure your bottom-feeder mother will devise a way to capitalize on what should be a personal family issue. I expect there’ll be a line of Lynne Spears baby food or nursery furnishings available by, oh, say ... Mother’s Day 2008.
(Originally published December 26, 2007 in the Gainesville Times)