What were you doing at age 13? Do you remember?

I was in the 7th grade, maybe starting the 8th when I was 13. I liked hanging out with my friends. We played football on the weekends, rode our bikes and went camping with the Scouts.

But, we weren’t having sex with girls.

In fact, girls were a mystery akin to “darkest Africa” at that point in our lives. Our bodies were certainly brewing a viral mix of hormones, but it was a bit like watching a wild horse from a distance. It was frightening and powerful and morbidly appealing, but it was our own. We didn’t share it with anyone else.

Guys talked about girls, older guys mostly. We listened to their tales in the locker room. Even then most of the stories seemed too fanciful to be true. We joked with each other about being a “stud” and dating girls and touching them. But, we never really did, not at 13.

During the lunch hour the girls would form one little pack and the boys would form another. Usually, about once a day we’d pick some poor schmuck and shove him into the pack of girls for a joke. He’d come running back red faced and angry; sometimes we’d shove him back again. The girls would scream, as if an Indian had invaded the camp, penetrating their feminine circle of wagons.

It was good fun.

But, I hadn’t yet kissed a girl at age 13, nor had I held a girl’s hand in a romantic way. Even accidentally brushing against them in the hallways was confusing for me. It felt different than it had a year or two earlier, different in a scary, exciting way. But, that was as far as it went. I didn’t really know anything and certainly never actually did anything. That came later, but at 13 I preferred the company of my pals to any girl.

This past week here in Britain came the news that a 13 year old boy had fathered a child with a 15 year old girl. The boy looks like he’s 9; he looks like he’s holding his new baby sister. He looks like he’s scared out of his mind. Most new fathers are scared, but this kid looks like he got shoved into the circle and raped.

There is wide agreement that the news is appalling, even by today’s standards. The tabloids have interviewed two other boys (15 year olds) who claim the child might be theirs, but the 13 year old is insistent, demanding a DNA test. His lover claims that she lost her purity to him alone. “I love him,” she says defiantly.

I can’t imagine what we’d have said to one of our pals if he claimed to have fathered a child in the 7th grade. Would he have called him a “stud,” or would we have castigated him as some sort of freak of nature? I can’t imagine we would have asked him to play football or to come camping with us.

“What about your kid?”

We certainly wouldn’t shove him into the girls anymore. He’d been there already. We’d have probably asked him what it was like to touch a girl, to lay with a girl. At 13 we’d have had no recourse but to believe his erotic tales: he had proof after all.

Britain is not unique. The same thing could just as easily have happened in the U.S. or any other progressive, degenerating Western nation. But, something’s wrong here, deeply wrong. No one really knows what to do about it; no one knows what to say, other than, “Shockin’, just shockin’.”

The other day Isaac (15 today) came home from school where he’d attended his “sex ed” class. The message was simple, “When you and your partner are ‘ready’ you should go ahead and do it.”

I wonder when the first 12 year old will father a child?

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