Those who are Catholic will be familiar with the reconciliation services that Catholic Churches often hold around the holidays-essentially, they bring in a group of priests who are all available to hear confession, and people go to confession. When I was around 12, my mother and I attended such a service right before Thanksgiving; it was at our own parish, so we knew a lot of the people there, and ended up waiting in line for confession with one of my friends and her mother, who at the time was very very pregnant.
My friend’s mother was the first of our group to go into the confessional. When she came out, she was in stitches laughing: my friend’s mother was only 30, and looked much younger than that. So, when the priest saw her, his immediate reaction was to look at her with total compassion: “Oh, honey”, he said. “Come here and tell me what happened.” He took one look at her and because she looked so young, he assumed that she was an unwed teenage mother. My friend’s mother told the priest that she was 30 years old, that she had been married for 12 years, and that this was her fifth child.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in that room 🙂