It wasn’t that Ari and Marisol were bad parents. They loved John Tyler and Rosa very much. Both parents tried their best to give their kids everything they needed to be healthy and happy. But even with the best parenting, the best schools, and the best life that money can buy, sometimes kids make poor choices.
John Tyler loved his girlfriend, Wendy. He loved her wild sense of style. He loved the way her eyes lit up whenever she saw him. He loved the soft curves of her body pressing against him when they kissed.
“Do you worry that John Tyler is seeing too much of his girlfriend?” Marisol asked Ari. “It seems like she’s become his only pastime.”
But they did not know the intensity of John Tyler and Wendy’s relationship. They were unaware that the couple was now having sex on a regular basis, whenever their families were away from home. No one knew, until very late one Saturday night, when Ari returned home from a Golden Nuggets game. His team had just suffered a humiliating defeat against a weaker opponent, and all he could think of was a long, relaxing soak in the jacuzzi. He stepped out onto the balcony, then froze in shock. There was his teenage son and his girlfriend in the hot, steaming bubbles of the jacuzzi, having sex.
Ari let out a bellow so loud, that it probably woke up every family in their apartment building. John Tyler and Wendy gasped and quickly climbed out of the jacuzzi, then Wendy yanked on her clothes and raced out the front door, still barefoot and dripping wet.
Ari spoke to John Tyler between clenched teeth. “To your room. Now.” John Tyler quickly obeyed.
For the next few weeks, there was a strained silence in the household. Even little Rosa, with her bubbly, positive personality, couldn’t melt the chill between John Tyler and their parents. He was like a prisoner now – allowed to leave the house only for school and soccer practice. He was forbidden to ever see Wendy again. Marisol and Ari thought that this would be the best solution. Unfortunately, they did not count on a surprise visit from Wendy’s dads.
“My fifteen year-old daughter is pregnant,” they told Ari and Marisol. “And she says that John Tyler is the father.”
“Pregnant? Oh no!” Marisol looked at their son, who suddenly looked scared and vulnerable, and much too young to be a father, and burst into tears.
“Unfortunately,” said one of Wendy’s fathers, “my husband and I don’t feel as though we can manage Wendy any longer. She has always been so out-of-control. And now this!” He threw his hands into the air. “We will have to send her away to live with relatives in Canada.”
“Canada!” John Tyler’s face drained of color.
Ari shook his head. “Let Wendy come and live with us. We will take care of her and the baby.”
“Do you have enough space?” Wendy’s dad threw a dubious glance around the apartment.
“We will,” Ari assured him. And so, less than one month later, the Milito-Paz family left behind the lights and excitement of the big city and moved across the river to rent a large house in the suburbs. For Ari and Marisol, the long commute to work really sucked. But the house had a small apartment above the garage where their son’s pregnant girlfriend now lived.