On Second Thought, Camping and Baby Bottles

Trust me, it’s crazy to see your life on television. That’s why every week, I’m going to do a blog posts called “On Second Thought.” These posts are where I will go over the episodes of my Lifetime show as I process the issues presented now that I’ve seen them aired.  I hope you’ll join me for these weekly posts – which will undoubtedly be part-confession, part-explanation, and part-celebration of my life right now!

Episode Thirteen, Air Date: July 31, 2012

We moved to Juneau when Mom became Governor of Alaska, which was a big transition for our family.  When I joined my new school’s basketball team, the team manager, Marissa, quickly became my best friend. Half Japanese and half native, she had dark hair, a funny sense of humor, and we became best friends instantly.  And we still are!

Back in those more innocent days of school, we never would’ve guessed both of us would’ve ended up pregnant without being married.  That’s why I was glad she and I were able to do something nice for unwed teen moms.  I loved sitting around with those girls, their cute babies, and hearing everyone’s stories.  Talking to them gives a more realistic picture of teen pregnancy.  Though the children are blessings, having them without the benefit of marriage is not ideal.

I wanted to give them a little encouragement, and what better way than with a Bible verse?  Mom helpfully provided some inspiration.  In case you couldn’t hear which Bible verses we underlined in those cute pink Bibles, it was Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It was great to have Gino camping with us, but – gosh – it’s always so complicated.  It pains me when I hear Tripp call him Dad.   (Though, truth be told, he also uses that term to refer to my dad, my brother, and my uncles.  He seems to address anyone who’s a father figure to him as “Dad,” something he’ll grow out of I’m sure.  Thankfully, he has the best role models in my dad and brother.  This will help him be so well rounded because he gets to be around such good guys!)  Gino particularly annoyed me when he described his ideal relationship, by saying he wanted me to be a “good girl who will cook and clean.”

Cook and clean? Of course, I cook and clean.  But I’m more than that.  I’m convinced he realizes this, but the whole conversation just struck me wrong.  I think sometimes we just talk past each other.  I don’t know. Since neither of us are perfect, it’s just hard to know how to deal with our relationship sometimes.

At least I didn’t lose $400.

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  • Misty

    I think this was my fav episode, because of Marissa and the group of gals you met. I loved the gift baskets you made. Those are some very brave young women and I hope them and their babies the best.

    That goes for you and Marissa too! She’s an awesome friend that stood up for you when that weirdo was yelling at you.

  • Holley

    I’m not a single mom, but I do have a husband in the Military, so I do know what it’s like to at least take care of children while no one is around to help. I know what it’s like to have a baby out of wedlock and I know how it feels to be both dad and mom at times. It’s utterly exhausting some days. My son is three, but when my husband was away he was just one. I kept being anger that I had to do it all myself, that if only my husband was home it would be better. I just kept thinking if only his daddy was here, when the whole time God was there, and he was all me and my son needed to survive each day. Sadly I didn’t realize that for the whole year my husband worked and so I became depressed. Then one day I just knew God was my only way out, my only hope, my only help and strength to be the mother I needed to be while my son was with out his father. It was like I was a new person. I saw my life as a mother without a husband around to help sometimes, in a new light. It wasn’t a husband I “needed”, it was God. I hope that you can see that life shouldn’t be about “finding” Tripp the “right” dad, you should be doing what you are doing, taking care of him and sharing God’s word with him and see how God works in your life and Tripp’s. I keep you in my prayers. You are a beautiful person, a loving mom and a smart woman. Don’t let others get you down. I know God sees all you do and will continue blessing you!!
    A verse came to mind that helped me and still does on tough days is Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

    • Martha

      Holley that is the best advice I’ve seen of all the others. I’m finding out myself that this is so true even for this way older person. :)

  • Thomas Hubbard

    Let Tripp know he can me as his uncle Tom, no not the one from the book! He can hang put me any day of the week, along with his cousin Trig. My would also likes being an Aunt Elaine.

  • Jilline

    I wouldn’t worry too much about young kids calling other people mom or dad. From what I remember in elementary school, tons of my classmates called out teachers those terms. It’s an authority thing. It shows there’s respect and acknowledgement of adult.child relationship.

    • Joseph

      I agree! I think it’s an example of a good role model and how parents should treat their kids.

  • David Dempsey

    Bristol, that is a good “Winter Wonderland” photo. Gino looks like a nice guy. That is a good photo of the three of you.

  • Joseph

    I’m glad you are using scripture to help these teen moms! You are an awesome woman of God, Bristol! :)

  • Laura

    When I saw Gino talking about Bristol being a good girl, cooking and cleaning, it looked to me like he was teasing her. Whether there was some seriousness behind the teasing, I couldn’t say, but I’d say he was definitely teasing her because of the way he smiled when he said it.

    • Judy Fisher

      Judy says, Bristol be glad that Gino is looking for a gal who will cook and clean. what I think he is saying is, that he wants a mate who is looking to be a homemaker, the greatest profession, and one that is most needed. Since Mom’s have had to leave the home and take jobs, look what has happened to families. I am so thankful that my husband wanted me to be a homemaker and be there raising our children and making home a haven. And both our sons wanted the same thing for their wives.

  • Esther

    I think Gino was trying to tease when he said that (most men do when they are trying to lighten up the mood even though we do take it the wrong way sometimes), but you would know him better than us. I only see what shows on the television, and from what I see he is good to Tripp just like you say, if he is good to you as well than its a win win. In order for a relationship to work there has to be communication and trust. You have to remember, yes you are a mom, but you are also 21 years old and I’m guessing Gino is around the same age so you have to remember to have a relationship. He has a relationship with your son, and a great one from what we see on tv You both were willing to leave the past in the past, and move on with your lives together and that is the hardest thing for a relationship to do. Please excuse my essay, this is my first post and I’ve been gathering everything I could remember from the past episode. I hope everything works out! :)

  • Patsy Carlisle

    Love that picture of you, Geno and Tripp. I think a lot of your problems with Geno are because Levi caused you so much pain that you are insecure in relationships. Of course, I don’t know Geno and I certainly don’t know your relationship that well. However, he really seems to care about you. Sometimes I wish you would say you love him and not just how good he is to Tripp.

  • http://www.beccasfreshfruit.blogspot.com rebecca cleary

    I have been watching your show since day one and I must say that I am just so impressed by you. I got pregnant at 21, unwed as well. While my son’s father ( now an officer in the NAVY) and I did eventually get married, it sure was a less than ideal way to start our lives. That son of mine is almost 21 and we now have three other kids ages 18, 16 and 9. While it is never easy God has certainly blessed our lives as we walked step by step with him. Jeremiah 29:11 has been my life verse and I am thrilled to see you share it. Just wanted you to know that I am a big fan and supporter of you!! I’m proud of the stand you take and the example you are! I’m excited to see what God does in and through you in the years to come!!