Bristol Palin’s pretty, lightly freckled face was nowhere to be seen on the overhead screen as images from her high-school senior slideshow – photos from the prom and a Class of 2009 portrait set against the Alaska snow – played during May 14th’s Wasilla High commencement ceremony.
Did it make her sad to have missed out on so much senior-year fun – to be spending graduation night not with a bunch of friends but at home, giving her 5-month-old son a bottle while her extended family plays “Eskimo bingo”?
Bristol, Sarah Palin’s eldest daughter, answers: “I have other things to worry about.”
Bristol Palin, 18, is uncertain where she will go to college – she’s thinking of a two-year business program – but says her near future will include advocating for teen-pregnancy prevention.
“Girls need to imagine and picture their life with a screaming newborn baby and then think before they have sex,” she tells People magazine. “Think about the consequences.”
There is no nanny in the Palin house. Bristol gets up – usually twice during the night – to feed Tripp, who sleeps in a hand-me-down crib in her bedroom, and she says she has worked on at least one school paper with her son crying in the background. She breastfed her baby for a month, pumping milk before class and rushing straight home to feed him. And she worked two part-time jobs to help pay for the diapers and formula her parents otherwise supply.
“If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex,” says Bristol, sitting at her parents’ lakeside patio table. “Trust me. Nobody.”
As for her breakup with Levi, 19, with whom she’s still trying to resolve child support and visitation issues, Bristol says it was for the best. “I’m thankful we didn’t get married because if it wasn’t going to work now, it wasn’t going to work in five years.”
For more on Bristol’s life with her baby and exclusive at-home photos of the Palin family, pick up this week’s issue of People magazine, on newsstands Friday.