Sarah Palin: Election Took Toll on Family

"I'm going to leave it at that, acknowledging that he will always be a part of our family. I can't wait until he comes back on that right road of wanting to be a part of the family in Tripp's life. It's going to be good. At the end of the day, this will be a good experience," she said.

Palin on Abortion: 'I Knew That the Option Was There'

Rounding out the family is 19-month-old Trig. Before he was born, Palin discovered that he would have Down's syndrome. Ninety percent of women who get that news abort, according to research reviewed by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospital Boston.

Palin said she knew abortion was an option, but was able to overcome the fear of the unknown to go ahead with the birth.

"I knew that the option was there...I thought again, for that split second, 'OK, now I know, too, why, when that fear strikes you, because of the unknown,'" she said. "I understood then, too, why a woman would consider [abortion] an easier path to perhaps, if you will, do away with the problem, instead of understanding that every child has purpose. There is destiny for every child. And it can be good, in our world. And that's what I held onto."

Embracing life, the former governor of Alaska and mayor of Wasilla has built her family on what she considers solid American values.

"My family is a real, real American family," she said. "Not pretentious, just hard working."

Daughters Willow, 15, and Piper, 8, joined Palin for portions of the Barbara Walters interview and weighed in their mother's possible presidential aspirations.

Willow told Walters it "would be cool" to see her mom become president. When asked by Walters if how it feels when people criticize her mother, Piper said, "It's kind of sad."

Willow added: "And it's annoying, because none of it's true."

On how their mother juggles life in the spotlight with life at home, Piper told Walters her mother was a good cook, and that her favorite meal was moose hot dogs with cheese in the middle.

"You'd love it. You really would," Palin told a skeptical Walters. "And it's so clean, and, and it is healthy protein."

Palin, who was painted during the campaign as a moose-hunting, gun-toting, fly-fishing mother of five, whose philosophy on life and politics was colored by Alaska and her love of getting knee-deep in the outdoors.

On her own upbringing, she writes about moose eyeballs -- how her dad shot and carved up a moose, and put the eyeballs in her hand.

"My dad's a science teacher, and he tried to kill two birds with one stone, what he would do is, fill the family's freezer, at the same time bring in specimens to his young students," she told Walters. "He asked me to participate in that by holding the warm eyeballs and, and, in that event I said, 'No, Dad, I just can't do that one.' ... He did raise a tough hunting buddy, but I did have my limits."

"Tough hunting buddy" until the end, Palin emphasizes how her Alaskan identity is uniquely American.

"An Alaskan life is what I think an American life can be, we have a very independent, pioneering...self-help spirit up there in Alaska where, we take care of one another, very strong families, strong communities where, it's not government mandating that we all take care of each other. ...And that lifestyle I think, more Americans need to recognize and appreciate," she said.

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