Allahpundit has a great thread on the announcement from the Palins that their eldest daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant. Coincidentally, my daughter-in-law is at about the same point in her second pregnancy, and our second granddaughter will join our family at the end of the year. When our first granddaughter, the Little Admiral, joined us, it was in a similar situation that Bristol and her fiancé now face.
First, this is not some catastrophe, although it is hardly an optimal situation. As Harold Ramis remarked in Knocked Up, a hurricane is a catastrophe — which we can easily see today. A baby is new life, an addition to the family, and most people would welcome this. And many can never experience that joy, either. It is a blessing, as long as people don’t treat it like a catastrophe.
Our son and daughter-in-law had just started their senior year in high school when they became pregnant, and I use that pronoun deliberately. The two of them formed their own unit and held each other up during a terribly stressful year. Meanwhile, we parents had to support them as best we could, and make sure they knew we loved and supported them through it all. In return, we discovered two wonderful adults who had just been children shortly before, and when the Little Admiral came, two wonderful parents as well.
None of this was easy, and we certainly all had our moments during this stressful time. However, we took each day as it came, and we discovered that it really didn’t bring the world to an end or stop the two of them from pursuing their dreams Like Bristol, our son and daughter-in-law got engaged shortly afterwards, and this month celebrated six years of marriage. Both of them graduated from college this year, and my son will start graduate school this week. It took them a little longer, but they achieved their goals.
What does this mean politically? I think AP has done a good job in addressing this, but really I don’t think politics will enter into it. The Palins all chose life and lived their values. That doesn’t strike me as news, as we already saw that with her commitment to her son Trig. The Democrats won’t dare mention this as a campaign issue, and even the blogs will probably leave it alone soon enough. Most people, I’d say, will wish Bristol and the Palins well. None of us quit our jobs to help our son and daughter-in-law cope, and neither will Sarah Palin, because it’s unnecessary.
We would all do better just to admire the Palins for their love and support for Bristol, Bristol’s courage in pursuing motherhood when faced with a difficult but hardly unusual situation, and agree that this has little to do with whether Sarah Palin will make a good Vice President. Families have been dealing with this since … there were families. Neither side should use Bristol to score political points. Keeping them in our prayers would also be the kindest action we can take.