ENG 1301-50047 30 October 2011 Reflection ESSAY
Young and dumb “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ” ? Albert Einstein; a quote that really hit home when thinking back on “Maricela” a story from the novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman. Maricela’s outlook on life went from being negative to positive, although it took time for her to realize the bigger picture her tone took a drastic turn from being suicidal and irrational to honored, during her pregnancy.
In the beginning of Maricela’s story she is very selfish and regretful for being only six-teen years old and pregnant, she is worried she will no longer live a normal teenage life which consist of dating and going to parties. Later in her story she comes to her sense’s and starts to realize the bigger picture, after meeting an instructor from a teenage pregnancy program her high school offers ,that helps her become optimistic and understand the true meaning of having a baby.
The story of Maricela is of a girl who is going through a difficult time in her life as a teenager, not only is she a pregnant six-teen year old girl which is looked down upon by many but she Is also Mexican. In Maricelas eyes being Mexican is a hard thing to be proud of in her neighborhood, as stated in the text “I’m a Mexican, pregnant sixteen-year-old. So shoot me and get it over with.
I wouldn’t actually care if you did. In a way I’m already dead” (pg. 67).
Such harsh words to come from a mother to be, the baby is nothing but a burden to her, it’s almost as if she feels the baby is taking her life away as if she is “dead already”. Maricela is regretful and pessimistic because she can no longer live the life she lived before the baby was a reality, she narrates, “I used to be really, really hot. Because of the baby I’m as fat as a wrestler, I dropped out, I’ve been to exactly zero parties, and I’ve been asked out exactly zero times…” (pg. 67). Obviously through her text she states that dating boys and going to parties is her priority, not focusing on the fact she is pregnant.
Later, Maricela joins a pregnancy program her high school offers that helps teenage girls understand and helps them with they’re day to day needs, like rides to the doctor and help with GED assistance. For example, she states, “Three of us from high school got into a program for pregnant teens. They give you rides to the doctor and help with getting your G. E. D. at home” (pg. 67). During the time she’s attending the assistance program, she starts to deal with the fact that she is pregnant, although she is not yet accepting she is taking the proper steps with seeking the assistance.
While attending the program, Penny the instructor had come across the community garden. With the garden Penny had the idea to get the three pregnant teenagers involved to help them better understand life. As said, “Except that Penny, the woman we see, saw the community garden and got the program its own spot, to give us practice taking care of something and to let us witness “the miracle of life. ””(pg. 67 -68) Although Maricela didn’t understand or appreciate the garden she still happen to meet a African -American lady by the name of Leona, a lady in which Maricela found comfort in.
Maricela was able to talk to Leona because she understood that Maricela did not want to be pregnant. For example, she narrates, “She knew I didn’t want to be pregnant. I could talk to her about it. ”(pg. 71) Finally, in the end Maricela had grown to understand the true meaning of life and being pregnant is bigger than her life its self, bigger than dating and partying. Therefore her outlook on life had made a complete turnaround, from regretful and negative to being honored and positive.
She was now finally proud to be mothering a new life to this world, and realizes life never stops, it’s an ongoing cycle. As said in the text,”An old man near us was slowly picking cucumbers, like nothing had happned. ” Whole city shuts down, but the garden just keeps going. ” Leona said. ”(pg. 72) In Paul Fleischman’s novel Seedfolks, a story of a teenage girl by the name of Maricela, overcomes adversity and changes her thought process from negative to positive. She relizes she is apart of a bigger meaning, she is apart of the cycle of life.