On Second Thought, Camping and Baby Bottles

On Second Thought, Camping and Baby Bottles August 3, 2012

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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  • e

    is the show done for the season and will it be back next year? Enjoyed it, great scenery!

  • Lynda Armstrong

    I have enjoyed your show…watching Gino with Tripp doing all the daddy things one would understand why he calls him daddy…I would guess if we saw him with your dad and brother we see the same … just being there for him…looking forward to watching you on DWTS…God Bless

  • Jan Page

    I’ve enjoyed your show, Bristol. I will miss it now that it is over. Keep the faith! You will know when the right guy comes around. Just like your Mom knew that your Dad was the one for her.

  • Gary P Jackson

    That was a good show. Far be it for me to give relationship advice, but I hope you and Gino either figure out how to make it work, or move on. Life’s too short.

    You’ve certainly matured and are a great mom. You had an awesome role model, for sure!

    Good luck on DWTS and God bless.

  • Charli Chad

    Beautiful post. Humility and admitting our faults brings understanding and growth. I’m going to miss your show! Will it be back?

  • katelyn

    is the season over? 🙁 not cool, i hope your back for a new season. your a great person, dont let negative comments bother you. – katelyn crowley ridge, ny

    (affter seeing your show i have thought about moving there, i think i would love to live there, its beautiful 🙂 )

  • katelyn

    move to alaska that is lol

  • Haley

    I love you and Gino together! In addition to your dad and Track, Gino is a very positive role model for Tripp. On a side note, what was wrong with Gino’s voice in the past2 episodes?

  • robhart

    Here’s to the next phase of what life brings on….Life is a trip…….You have shown that life is also a blessing. See you on DWTS.

  • Lynda Armstrong

    A Family: Unconditional Love
    What I felt after reading and re-reading your book and watching you with your family…

    This past week I re-read Bristol Palin’s book. I must say it affected me the same as it did the first time. It is a book that all young teenage girls (and maybe boys) should read and I suspect if Mom and Dad read it they would see that maybe things have not changed a-lot. Only this time it is their daughter being told by a boy “if you don’t, then I will go somewhere else”.

    This is not a book report … it is about a young girl and a family with unconditional love and as she tried to find her way it was played out like drama for the world to see.

    What was this teenager girl’s crime? The answer is nothing…she had heard the words “if you don’t I will find someone who will”. She felt she had no choice even though she was going against her value system. That choice changed her life in ways she never dreamed; she became an unwed teenage mom.

    Dreams were lost; a Mom and Dad’s hearts were broken, hurting for a child they loved and knowing her life would never be the same. Even with the birth of her son she still knew that the choice she had made was a mistake but not by having this beautiful child. He was a gift from God; and with the family who gave unconditional love helping her she began to raise this beautiful child.

    Oh, nothing was easy, but the love was there…she had walked away from the family, but came back and saw the gate wide open and arms waiting for her return to this family who gave unconditionally. Was it easy? No, but the love was there. It would not be easy but with love it was still home.


    “On Wednesday morning ,the final three couples made their appearances on GMA. On the show, I danced one more time with Mark, and the producer surprised us with personal video messages from our families.

    “You overcame a whole lot of challenges starting from ground zero to come so far”, my Mom said on my video. “All of Alaska, we’re proud you.”

    I teared up. There was something about seeing Mom’s face that made me feel unusually emotional. We’d been through a-lot over the past few years, and we’d managed to end up stronger than when we started…through repentance, forgiveness, and the unconditional love of family.”

    The above are Bristol’s words. Her family has been hit every day with some lie or half truth…but as a family they understand what God has said in 1 Corinthians 13 :13 ….”And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

    Bristol had said that the media had not stopped. Sadly that still remains true today … but we know one thing Sarah and Todd with their family will make it because they know and understand unconditional love… So Dance like David ..

  • Listen to Willow!

  • Truth101

    “Though the children are blessings, having them without the benefit of marriage is not ideal.”

    The thing is you were to young to have a baby and to young to get marry. Marriage at a young age would not have solved anything.

    You need to drop the need for wanting a Dad for Tripp or marriage. You are so not ready to tie the knot with anybody so just enjoy your son and stop me complaining.

    You have had 3 years as a single mother now and it is time to show you have learned something from it.

    • Kim

      I think that is a bit harsh. We only see a small portion of Bristol’s life. Bristol – I think you are doing great with Tripp.

      • Truth101

        I think she is doing a great job with Tripp too. I just hope she gets over this needing a father figure for Tripp complex. I just don’t get it. She is only 21 and instead of thinking she needs a man in her life she should occupy her time by going back to school.

  • James

    People don’t change so take them for what they are or don’t take them at all. Gino is telling you what he wants… if that is not what you want to be then get out now.

    I would love to see you be more than Gino’s wife if that is what you really want. So far I have not seen any real aspirations of your own besides wanting marriage. Aside from profiting off your son and your mother what do you want out of life? Those opportunities won’t last forever and that well will run dry. Take an example from Willow and Track and go out do something for yourself… like college or career education. Reality TV is not a career and it will be over soon.

  • Renee

    I KNOW THE IDEAL LIFE WOULD INCLUDE A FATHER FOR TRIPP, but if you aren’t happy with where you and Gino are at or going, then cut your losses because YOU DESERVE TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO LOVES, RESPECTS AND CARES ABOUT YOU!! It was interesting to hear Gino say what he did about his relationship with you…in that he wasn’t in a relationship with Tripp, so he had to remember that and realize the relationship is with YOU! Keep the faith!

  • bellagrazi

    Bristol, it shouldn’t pain you to hear Tripp call Gino “Dad”. You should be thrilled! Tripp loves Gino. And Gino once said that Tripp totally has his heart. I don’t know why you just can’t accept the fact that these two share a serious bond. Unless you are uncertain about your future with Gino. Personally, I don’t think you have to worry about that. Gino is obviously deeply in love with you. Have faith in that love. But you and Gino definitely talk past one another! Haha That scene outside the camper was super funny! And super cute! And I know that Gino realizes that you do more than cook and clean. I think he was just trying to get a rise out of you. Good job in holding your temper in that exchange. As for being a “good girl” – I think he just wants you to not flip out on him like you did in Arizona. Gino seems like a good guy, Bristol. I don’t think he wants to control you. He just wants your relationship to be 50/50. Or at least 60/40. Haha Please give the guy a chance. I remember Marissa from the bar fight in L.A. That’s the kind of friend you want in your corner. Her little girl is a doll! I’m really glad you girls paid the unwed teen moms a visit. I think you did a lot of good. By the way, you owe Willow $400 dollars! Payton seems like a smart guy and he says it’s not up for debate. Haha

  • Kelly

    My son calls the any guy that is around his dad. Of course he does know who his dad is when ever he does see him. I does break my heart inside that he does call other men dad, but I do know that my son does have great role models in his life!

  • Take your time with Gino. You have lots of time to really decide about a lifetime relationship. It was nice of you to take the gift baskets to the pregnancy center.

    • Bristol,
      I agree with SueB. Take your time with Gino. You want this to turnout to be a lifetime
      relationship. It’s better to take the time now and find out where you both are and understand
      your differences rather than finding them out after you take that big step. Tripp will adjust
      if you both find out it would not work. Better than fighting all the time and he has to experience
      that. All I am saying is be sure when you make the choices that it is the right one for both
      you and Tripp.

  • Carrie

    Hi Bristol!

    I LOVE your show! From what I see on the show it seems like Gino is an awesome father to Tripp, who is super cute, btw. I have an almost 3 year old son myself. As far as your relationship with Gino goes…I feel like you want something more serious and maybe he’s not ready for marriage yet? Or maybe he’s intimidated by your opportunities and business ventures that you pursue. Of course, I am assuming all of this and only know you both from the show so I could be wayyyy off base. Sometimes I wonder if maybe you and Gino did go into something together…some sort of business opportunity, but you gave him the reigns and let him be in charge of it, it would somehow allow him to feel like the grizzly man he is…lol. I don’t know. Please, I am only trying to help and god knows that I have my own relationship issues. Anyway, I think you guys are great together…but I don’t know the whole story either…

    Don’t worry so much about Tripp calling him dad…I wouldn’t even acknowledge the fact…it will work itself out…and maybe in the end…that’s exactly the name Tripp should be calling him.

    Oh and Gino’s right about one thing…you do have beautiful smile!!!

  • 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.

  • Bristol,
    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!!

  • God has a plan for you, Geno and Tripp. We watch the show every time it’s on. That is such a great pic of the three of you. Our prayers are with you all. Trust in the Lord and HE will bring you through anything. God Bless, Cindy in Palmer

  • Angela

    Don’t get me wrong, i really do like you but i think you really shouldn’t have started this show because you’re just asking for scrutiny by the media, and now Levi wants full custody of your son and calling you a bad mother?.

    Clearly you love your son, but i do think you should be alittle more stricter when your son is acting up instead of just sitting back and laughing at what he does. Just my little POV of course as it happens when you air your personal life on national TV 🙂