Most Active Stories
- Velo Coffee Turns to Kickstarter to Fund New Roaster
- Janisse Ray’s ‘The Seed Underground’ Explains Startling Loss of Seed Diversity
- States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says
- Supernatural Suspense for Young Shapeshifters in 'Island of Fog' Series
- VW Chattanooga Not Only Gets New SUV; Also Gets New Research Center
Teenage Diaries Revisited: Mother And Son Listen To The Past
Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:18 am
Name: Melissa Rodriguez
Hometown: New Haven, Conn.
Current city: Orange, N.J.
Occupation: Customer service representative
"I just started my life. I just started to go to school, I just started working, and I just didn't have anything settled yet."
In 1996, after 12 years living in the foster care system, Melissa recorded a diary about getting pregnant and becoming a mother. She was trying to straddle life as a teenager with the coming responsibilities of parenthood. When Issaiah was born, she struggled to create a more stable family than she'd experienced as a child. "I'm the keeper," she said. "When I hold him, I just feel, you know, important to him."
Melissa's son is a teenager. She and Issaiah have faced many challenges, from eviction notices to his serious health issues. Now, she shares her teenage diary with him and reveals things about her past that she's never mentioned.
On recording her teen audio diary:
"I recorded it because I had a lot on my mind, and it made me feel better when I talked about it. When you talk about it, those thoughts and those feelings kind of fade away a little bit, kinda make you understand the situation you're in."
Produced for All Things Considered by Joe Richman of Radio Diaries, edited by Deborah George, Ben Shapiro and Sarah Kate Kramer.