My husband and I were lucky enough to have two Saturday night dates in a row recently. We went down to the Power & Light District both times and had some great food and drinks.
What wasn’t so great, however, were all the 20-somethings acting irresponsibly. One young man face-planted three times in the parking garage. We had to yell at the car turning the corner to not run him over.
On our walk back to our car, a drunken driver yelled out of his window, “I still love my ex!”
We also saw a woman passed out by herself on the stairs. I wanted to help her, but my husband said to me, “You can’t be everyone’s mother.”
“I know, but what if that were Bo, and no one was helping him?”
“He’ll know better than that.”
Will he? We all make mistakes.
Yeah, I’m already worrying about how to talk to my 10-year-old son about alcohol and getting trashed.
MADD.org suggests we should start talking to our children about alcohol as early as second grade. It also reports that kids who drink before the age of 14 are three times more likely to drive drunk later in life.
I’m a realist. If our son is anything like his parents, he will test the waters.
There were only a few times I can remember drinking alcohol before the age of 21: most notably the time I was 18 and in Poland, where it was legal. Other than Polish vodka, my drink of choice back then was good ol’ Zima.
Once I became a legal drinker I was mostly responsible. But when I turned 30 I had a blackout. That night involved Key West, Fla., a broken toe, a lost diamond earring and a bloody hotel lobby.
I remember when I was a kid I always wanted to go to one of those spring break dance parties I’d watch on MTV. But the closest I got was a spring break trip to Branson in my best friend’s brother’s pop-up camper.
What is it about spring break that makes high school and college kids want to travel to South Padre Island or Panama City Beach to get wasted? Now those parties just seem so trashy to me. Not to mention claustrophobic.
I don’t want my son to go down to Cancun and pass out in a Mexican jail. I don’t even let him have a little sip of my cocktail — all he gets right now is some Communion wine.
I do want to teach him about how to be a responsible drinker when he’s older. A few rules I want him to remember:
▪ Do not drink and drive.
▪ Never go out and drink alone.
▪ If you do plan on getting crap-faced, like on your 21st birthday or during a bachelor party, be with friends you trust.
▪ And finally, drink water — lots and lots of water — before and after alcohol.
Maybe our son won’t like the taste of beer. Maybe he’ll be too involved in school or sports to worry about hangovers and buying plane tickets to Ibiza.
I’m sure a few times I’ll end up waiting for that door to open after midnight, or waiting for a phone call that he’s safe.
You know what I’ll have right next to me, though? A glass of wine.