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Finance & Economy

A Young Family's Fight Against The Recession

I hope you got to enjoy some part of the weekend—we did. In fact, we made a special effort to get to the fireworks. Knowing that many cities and towns have cancelled their displays because of budget woes made it an even bigger treat than usual. It's a shame, but I wonder if we will remember to be grateful when things turn around. Isn't that human nature, though? Why is it so hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude?

And gratitude was just one of the emotions I experienced when I read Laura Sessions Stepp's piece in this week's Washington Post Magazine. We try to hold a conversation about something in the magazine just about every week because we think they hit it just right. They balance the personal story with the larger narrative, and this week's story really hit us where we live. It profiled a young dad named Bobby who became a father at 19 and is—was—seemed to be—determined to try to live up to what he thinks that role and title mean. At the time Laura caught up with him, he was taking care of three small children, one he had with his girlfriend Lori and two she had had with previous boyfriends. Lori had been able to find a job, but he had not. And living was a struggle, as you might imagine.

Why did I feel grateful? Because someone is paying attention to Bobby and his family, because it doesn't seem, as our other guest professor Maria Kefalas said, that too many people are. And, who am I kidding? That there but for the grace of God go I...

Here are some stats on teen pregnancy and births outside of marriage.