Summer was giving way to fall and a hurricane was raging in the south. In the north, at the Republican National Convention (Country First!!!), the most recent Palin baby was being thrust into the spotlight, while another Palin baby was cookin’ in his young momie’s belly.
Mom in this case was 17 year old Bristol Palin, who’d paired with a high-school dropout and the love of her life, Levi Johnston, a full year her senior. Now, surprise to none, Bristol and Levi have gone their separate ways, and Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, at two months old, faces the tough future of all products of teen pregnancy. The deck is stacked against Tripp and Bristol.
As the sociologists have told us for decades, the prime indicator of poverty is teen pregnancy.
Oh, lots of teen parents say the same thing Bristol and Levi did to the newsies at the convention in September. They love each other and they’re going to get married and just love that baby forever. Doesn’t often work out that way. Fully a third of pregnant teen girls say they’re CERTAIN they’ll marry the guy who impregnated them; a quarter more say chances are good they’ll marry the father. But statistics are harsh. Less than 8 percent of teenage moms marry the baby’s father within one year of the birth. Teen marriages are twice as likely to fail than marriages where the woman has reached the age of 25.
Kids who are 17 and 18 years old have no idea what life is all about. They’re completely unsure about their place in the world, and most don’t find it until they’re well into their 20’s.
In my lifetime the sociological paradigm has completely changed. Used to be you got married and had a baby. Then it changed to having a baby and then getting married. Now, it’s getting pregnant and NOT getting married.
Bristol is still in high school in Wasilla, and tells the public prints she’s thinking about college in the fall. Levi was in an apprenticeship program with an energy services company, but he got kicked out when they found out he doesn’t have a high school diploma. But hey - he’s got a wicked slap-shot!
Who’s taking care of the love child? Well, lots of folks. Grandma, grandpa…the usual suspects. And Grandma still preaches abstinence.