Dear Bristol — First, congratulations on your resourcefulness in building a career as a public persona in such a short time.
You were the most unfortunate sexually active small-town teenager in the country that summer four years ago when you were a sweet-looking deer in the klieg lights at the RNC convention in Minneapolis as your most excruciatingly personal life mistake was blasted across national newspapers, television and the Internet. A lot has happened to you since you were that plump kid holding her baby brother, and you’ve come a long way in your journey to maturity.
For all of that, you deserve high praise, but now there is something you need to do. Honey, bundle up your baby and get him off TV.
You needn’t stay in Wasilla, but find someplace to raise him properly, out of the limelight. It will be good for both of you. You both need a place Tripp can grow up and you can grow into your adult life.
You’ve tried on a number of personae in the 3½ years since he was born: celibacy advocate, dancing celebrity, memoirist, reality star. You’ve burned though relationships, registered your trademark, even changed your face. Now you have to embrace the genuine Bristol Palin so your overexposed little guy can have a genuine mother.
However dependable your own mother was raising you — or however authentic you wished she were — you need to be true for your little boy.
Pretty soon he’ll be ready for kindergarten. Remember, you’re all he has — look who his father is. Take your (let’s hope) legally gotten gains, start a college fund and a buy a house somewhere in a neighborhood with good schools and safe playgrounds. If you don’t, I’m afraid he will soon grow up to have his own Twitterfeed.
I don’t mean to single you out for scolding. I have been worried about another little girl Tripp’s age named Quinn whose mother is a lot older than you, and she’s doing a far worse job protecting the healthy future of her little daughter. You have made some mistakes but you can still pull this out and give yourself and your little boy a normal, productive life.
Also, get a real nanny. Willow deserves her own error-strewn post-adolescence.
Bonnie Goldstein is on Twitter at @KickedByAnAngel.