We Pond Livers have never been known for our cuddlability.
We’re slightly slimy and our movements can suggest cocaine use.
Which is, perhaps, why, not so long ago, Budweiser chose certain amongst us to be their spokeslizards.
But neither Budweiser nor any bud less wise, would choose a Pond Liver to be their ideal parent.
Which some of us here regard as rather unfair.
There are those in the ugly world of media who are choosing to treat little Jamie Lynn Spears right now in a similar fashion.
In case you have been submerged in particularly murky water for a long period, Ms. Lynn Spears announced this week that she is to be a mother at the age of 16.
She is being decried as, well, something of an ignorant Pond Dweller, who would be to parenthood what Johnny Rockets is to anorexia.
I think those who are casting stones, aspersions and made-for-TV movies featuring sixteen-year-old Southern mothers should consider some of the deeper truths of parenthood before leaping to such tasteless, baseless conclusions.
Just because Jamie Lynn’s older sister, Britney, has had a few trials along the road to perfect motherhood (and when I say ‘trials’, I do sort of mean trials of the ‘we could lock you up’ variety), it does not mean that Jamie Lynn will turn out the same.
Anyone who has met my brother can attest to this burdensome but joyous truth.
For all we know, Jamie Lynn is a deeply responsible girl who happened to get knocked up in entirely innocent circumstances.
She might have accidentally taken too many Ritalin pills.
Or been so engrossed in an episode of her own Zoey 101 show on the Nikleodeon Channel that she momentarily lost her barings.
It really is not for us to make sweeping judgements on a mother-to-be who might well have been a virgin before this one rogue incident. Not unlike another innocent exemplar of virgo intacta who is often mentioned at this time of year.
Moreover, as one grows a little older, one realizes that it is very hard to know in advance who will be a good parent and who will turn out to be as adept as Adolf Hitler on the harp.
I have witnessed many of my friends and former friends attempt to marshal and, sometimes, bludgeon children into this world.
Oh, they start with good intentions. Then it wears them down to such a degree that their only happiness comes when they get their kids off their own hands and into someone else’s. Anyone else’s.
In fact, an eminent child psychologist once told me that some of the most troubling cases she had to deal with are parents who simply didn’t like their kids.
Parents who, when they looked their children in the eye, saw Damien. Or John Mayer.
However much parents chant the mantra that it is different when they’re yours, I sometimes wonder just how true that is.
If you have had the joy of seeing the utterly uplifting movie called Juno, you will see parents who have and develop a relationship of rare humor and sensitivity with their mesmerisingly wise-cracking and accidentally pregnant daughter.
Who, in the movie, happens to be sixteen.
The only problem is that you walk out of the movie theater and suddenly remember these were actors.
And the real parents you know just aren’t quite that funny.
So lay Jamie Lynn Spears.
I’m sorry, I mean lay off Jamie Lynn Spears.
For all we know, the educative benefit of her experience might be far greater than that of a thousand counselors and other assorted do-badders.
I am only waiting for some blond boy with a crush larger than his Adam’s Apple to put his MacBook to use and make a YouTube appeal that every sane-minded person can get behind.
You don’t know what kind of mother Jamie Lynn is going to be. And there are many boys and men out there who would be only too proud to help her with the daunting task of parenting a child in the spotlight.
For a fee to be negotiated by mutual agents, of course.
For all you know, the latest in the Spears dynasty might turn out to be the Beethoven, the Michaelangelo, the John Cougar Mellencamp or even the Hannah Montana of his or her era.
So, please. This is Christmas.
Think Johnny Mathis singing When A Child Is Born.
And let’s wish Jamie Lynn Spears all the best publicity in the world.