At the very beginning of the book, in the first chapter, the author makes it very clear that Missy (Taylor), did not want to get pregnant, like all the rest of the girls in Pittman County. In fact it was the last thing on earth that she wanted. Funny thing about that I guess, in that the last thing on earth that she wanted to happen to her, happened to her. After all those years of not having sex, and not wanting to get pregnant, and after all the precautions she took, she ends up with Turtle, and now she is just like all the other girls in Pittman County.
Tayor had a goal of not becoming pregnant and it definitely was reshaped when Turtle was given to her. The author shows commitment to Taylor s goal by stressing abstinence, and all that other no sex stuff, but the main commitment shown to Taylor s goal by the author, is when Taylor leaves Pittman County. All the other kids wanted to party it up and spray paint Class of 75 on the water tower, but Taylor had a different plan. While she was working she had saved enough money, on top of help paying for the bills etc. , she was able to save up enough money to buy a car.
This shows great commitment to a goal by Taylor. She sacrificed enjoying graduation, because she had her own goal, and that was to get out of Pittman County. Taylor seemed to have everything in check. She was leaving Pittman County, she was going to try and get herself a new name, and things were looking pretty good, but Taylor s lucky streak would eventually end. Taylor was hit with huge adversity when Turtle was given to her, and at first Taylor didn t want Turtle tagging along on her journeys. Taylor s goal had now been bent out of shape and now Taylor worst nightmare had come true.
Think of Taylor as an elastic band. The elastic band was twisted, pulled, and bent, but it did not break, and this becomes key in the reshaping of her goal. Taylor could have just passed Turtle down to someone else and say Here you deal with it, but she didn t she did not justify or blame she took responsibility for what she was given and in time treated Turtle like she was her own. Taylor s goal had now shifted from I don t want to get pregnant and be like all the other girls in Pittman County, to I want to be a responsible mother for this child.
She deals ith her situation very well. First of all she pulls over and gets some rest, and thinks about her options. After she makes her decision to keep Turtle, their relationship grows immensely, and Taylor starts to fulfill her goal of being a good mother and taking good care of this child. Later on in the book Taylor meets Mattie, Lou Anne, Edna, Esperanza, Estevan and many more people who eventually Taylor becomes good friends with. As the book moves along Taylor builds a very strong love for Turtle and Taylor becomes closer to achieving her goal, but hang on!!!
Turtle gets molested, and all of a sudden Taylor feels like she has let Turtle down and feels like she is a bad parent. This was the second time that Turtle had been molested and after the first time Taylor had spent 8 or 9 months trying to convince Turtle that no one would ever hurt her ever again. So, again the elastic band is twisted, bent, and pulled and this time is breaks. Taylor starts to vent her thoughts of the world to Lou Ann, and Lou Ann just takes it all in, and does what any good friend would. She ties the elastic band back together for Taylor, comforting her etc. , and Taylor once again starts to focus on her goal of being a good parent and taking care of Turtle.
From here on out Taylor is flawless, she takes very good care of Turtle and in the end of the book, Taylor accomplishes her goal by officially making Turtle her s. Taylor s consistent persistence, enables her to achieve her goal. Her initial goal was not only reshaped, it was changed entirely. Taylor paid the price for a worthy goal. She got a job, read to Turtle and did all the things a normal parent would do for their own son/daughter, and in the end Taylor was able to achieve her goal and adopt Turtle.