I can’t believe it - just when I think my son has finally woken up about his looming Matric exams, he meets a new girl! He has sensibly stayed away from any serious relationships this year and has a large group of mixed friends - and now this! I can spot the vacant “I am in love” look in his eye. What crappy timing. Now I must deliver the long-delayed repeat of my Grade 11 speech (which I fear went in one ear and out the other). You know the one: the dangers of pregnancy, the absolute need for contraception awareness, the fact that there is nothing more fertile than a 17-year old body with hormones that rage at ovulation, the fact that these days girls are only too happy to take pregnancies to term when they are still children themselves and wily enough to know they can sue the hapless young father (or grandparents!) for maintenance for the next twenty years, the fashionable society that no longer shames unmarried mothers, the bad examples of film stars, the myths about not getting pregnant the first time/if the girl is on top etc., the lack of romance involved in bringing up a baby, the need to be careful of girls from divorced homes - they are often clingy and insecure, the need to beware of girls with no ambition…… but I get ahead of myself. They only met last week and are certainly not home alone in my house. (He hasn’t been to hers yet.) Perhaps I can wait until next week - and water down my speech a bit. I am inclined to the policy of good friends of ours whose children are all grown up now. M remembers that he promised to thrash his son within an inch of his life and throw him out of the house if he ever got a girl pregnant. That certainly worked. Pity it’s not politically correct to even think of doing that any more.