When It's Over But It's Not
People Magazine recently reported that the on again/off again engagement of Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston is
well, off again. Bristol asserted firmly in the article that its over. Apparently, the news that Johnston may have gotten another woman pregnant was the last straw. She said, Levi was just like, Bristol, there is a possibility that I could be a father of this other baby. Through tears she told the People magazine reporter, The fantasy I had of us three being a family was a game to him. Hes never going to change. Frankly, I am a bit surprised that Bristol is surprised. He posed nude for Playgirl for goodness sake
I remember when I first saw Johnston on stage at the Republican National Convention. He looked extremely uncomfortable in his suit, a bit like a little boy someone dressed up for Easter Sunday. Looked to me like he couldnt wait for the service to be over so that he could go and slide in the mud in his new suit. When youre Levis age, this is usually a co-ed activity.
Now, I was a bit sympathetic to his plight. I even wrote this article
in my Washington Times column to help folks get a better understanding of what I think is going on in a teen fathers head. You see, I have a some experience in this area. When I was about Levis age, I got my girlfriend pregnant. But, I married her because I knew instinctively that fatherhood means the death of boyhood. Indeed, the difference between boyhood and manhood is the ability to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right ones. I have a feeling that Levi has yet to learn this lesson.
And thats the problem. By the time he does get schooled on the fact that his actions have consequences, chances are that Bristol will have built a nearly insurmountable wall of resentment that could make it very difficult for him to see his son. Moreover, his son too may have years of hurt and anger built up because his dad valued reality TV more than the reality that he needed to be an involved, responsible and committed father.
Alas, despite Bristols firm declaration to the contrary, when youre a father, its never over. I have taken more than enough calls from fathers in his situation to know that this is just the beginning. And there is no fantasy about that.