This whole statement, especially the phrase, "...news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned" is an almost breathtakingly perfect tone with which to discuss the realities of a teenage girl's pregnancy.When this news first broke, I was concerned -- not about the pregnancy itself, but about the timing of the disclosure. (Since apparently Sarah Palin's family didn't realize until the day of the announcement that she was the VP pick, I imagined the horrified teenager coming to her mother after the huge press conference: "Uh, mom, there's something I hadn't told you yet...") However, not only did her parents and John McCain know about the pregnancy before the VP choice was made, but so did most of her hometown, as Time Magazine reported on Monday:Complete absence of moralizing and judging? Check.Complete absence of the suggestion that a baby is a burden, a catastrophe, a punishment? Check.Reality: A baby "makes you grow up." (Growing up is good. It was going to happen anyway; now it will happen "faster.") Check.Truth: A twinge that says, "We wanted something else for you?" (And not something radically different; what was wanted was the same, only not so fast.) Check.
And yet: Confidence that the daughter is a strong person who, with her family's help, can and will rise to the challenges and responsibilities that now lie before her? Check.
So his name is Levi.Everyone makes bad choices sometime in their life. Some are almost consequence-free; some remain with us until death. Rare indeed is the American who does not know someone who became pregnant or who was conceived outside of wedlock. (As a small child, I could calculate on my fingers that my December birthday was only seven months after my parents' May wedding date.) I doubt that Miss Palin and her boyfriend thought that their choice of a heady bit fleeting pleasure would land them under intense national scrutiny five months later. Most of us are fortunate that the consequences of our thoughtless actions are confined to a much smaller (if not always less momentous) sphere.
That's about the only thing that I didn't know about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. The rest of the details I picked up almost without trying, while talking about other things with townsfolk — some who know the governor and her family well, some who don't. It was, more or less, an open secret. And everyone was saying the same thing: the governor's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, the father is her boyfriend, and it's really nobody's business beyond that.