Mothers’ Day, although an important, joyous and celebratory festivity, sometimes seems like solely a normal day of mundanity — plus a few bouquets of flowers and Hallmark cards. However, Why Don’t We fans would proclaim that, this year, Mothers’ Day brought quite the surprise and was anything but average.
Just when all of the fans, also known as the Limelights, thought they could get away with carelessly scrolling through the infinite abyss of Mothers’ Day Instagram posts, one caught their attention, confused them and completely topsy-turvied the fandom community as they knew it.
Jack Avery, a 19-year-old member of the band, posted a photograph indicating that he and his girlfriend had just had a baby.
“This has been the most humbling experience of my entire life,” Avery said as he began his shocking, down-to-earth caption. “It has forever changed my life in the best way possible… Gabriela, (my angel) is the most selfless person I have ever met in my life. She is the one that keeps me going and makes me work harder for my dreams every single day.”
However, when the caption began with Avery’s timeless affection toward Gonzalez instead of the anticipated Mothers’ Day brunch post, the band’s fans were slightly confused. Needless to say, the Limelights knew that they were in for a surprise. “I am so blessed to be able to call her the mother of my child and the woman I get to come home to every night,” Avery said.
Studies show that you could actually hear Limelight jaws physically smack the floor from over 10 miles away.
Okay, maybe those jaw-dropping studies aren’t totally reliable, but the point still remains. Fans were stunned, excited, confused, disappointed, doubtful and pretty much every other emotion that the human soul is capable of.
Avery and Gonzalez had successfully pulled a Kylie Jenner, keeping the entire pregnancy a secret until nearly an entire month after the birth of their daughter, Lavender May Avery. In fact, the pregnancy was such a secret that fans questioned whether or not the couple was still together; after all, the couple hadn’t posted about each other in 10 months. During the pregnancy, Gonzalez even posted old photos of herself to hide her baby bump.
She played off the pregnancy online with old modeling and bikini photos, which some fans disliked because they felt deceived and betrayed in hindsight — but they need to keep in mind that the secrecy was likely a contracted management request and not the couple’s personal choice.
“The gift of Life. What a beautiful gift God so graciously has given us. On April 22, 2019 we got to finally meet out new best friend,” Gonzalez wrote in her Instagram caption soon after Avery’s initial announcement. “And now we get to introduce her to you! Meet Lavender May Avery. The most delicate and precious flower.”
Many fans expressed their disapproval in the comments, trolling the couple with phrases like “she’s only 17,” “why was she skinny in her last post” and “there goes his career.”
Because the concerns of teen pregnancy are a reality in our culture, Gonzalez made sure to clarify their intentions with the sudden virtual enthusiasm about the birth.
“I just want to say that in no way are we trying to glorify teen pregnancy,” she tweeted. “It is hard being pregnant and having a baby at any age, especially being young. But if the situation does occur it is not a bad thing, a baby is beautiful no matter what!”
I just want to say that in no way are we trying to glorify teen pregnancy. It is hard being pregnant and having a baby at any age, especially being young. But if the situation does occur it is not a bad thing, a baby is beautiful no matter what!
— Gabriela (@gonzalezgabbiee) May 13, 2019
Despite an abundance of fandom disappointment, the couple has thankfully acquired a lot of support, too, from both fans and family alike. Many fans have extended their acceptance and congratulations, while close friends and family have demonstrated their support mentally, emotionally and physically.
Avery said, “Happy Mothers’ day to Lisa, (Gabriela’s mom) thank you for supporting Gabriela and I through everything. You are a saint and I don’t deserve to have someone as special as you in my life,” after wishing his own mother the same.
Unfortunately, too many teen pregnancies result in family disownment, and the anxiety of this reality is the last thing a parent-to-be should have to worry about. The mother’s emotional health, the baby’s physical health and the father’s presence (or absence) should have priority over the slim possibility of reputation damage. This lack of acceptance is something that our culture often fails to recognize, so the support of both Avery’s and Gonzalez’s parents is a tremendous blessing.
Likewise, the other Why Don’t We members also conveyed their deepest congratulations online — Jonah Marais, 20, and Zach Herron, 18, even combatted in a Twitter war about who was going to be the “fun uncle.”
The overwhelming support offered by friends, family and the majority of the Limelights has frankly transformed the fandom’s perspective of teen parenthood. Consequentially, the couple continues to post daily photos of Lavender, not glorifying teen pregnancy but instead appreciating the ability to produce life.
As for the future of Avery’s career, Limelights, don’t worry about losing your curly-haired cutie — he will continue touring with Why Don’t We. His dreams are made a priority by his support group, and his passion for pursuing a career in the professional music industry is unmatchable.
If you would like to see him on tour with Why Don’t We, and maybe even spot Gonzalez and their baby in the crowd, check out their website here.