August 30, 2010
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.