If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, then you know, when the doll was younger, she would wait until we were alone in the car going somewhere, before she would ask me her most important questions. Since she’s gotten older, those car questions have almost dropped completely, favoring to ask me at home, when no one is around. But this past weekend, the two of us drove to Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday and enjoyed having some “girl” time, away from her brother and father.
“I think I’m going to be a designated driver when I’m older…” She began, “because I don’t care for the taste of beer”. She explained. “Ah, but what about other forms of alcohol?” I asked. “Well not that I’ve tried any really well except for communion wine, but…” She replied before I interrupted. “Communion wine doesn’t count,” I said. “Why? I mean it tastes good,” she remarked. “Because you don’t drink more than one sip/per mass,” I replied. Nodding her head in agreement she said, “Well I still think, if I’m going to drink, it will be wine”
Looking over at her briefly I added, “Well, I wish I could drink wine. Depending on which kind, I either get really bad headaches or want to fall asleep”. “I just don’t see myself ever drinking beer”. She replied, sheepishly perhaps trying to distinguish the difference between us. “Well, what about other kinds of liquor? What’s going to prevent you from drinking those?” I asked. “Do you like hard liquor?” She asked. “Depends… I like rum and sometimes some whiskey. But I don’t drink either regularly. More like on special occasions, like when your dad and I were on vacation or at a wedding”. I explained. “But doll, as much as you dislike the taste of beer right now when you get to high school, and college, you’ll feel pressured to drink beer-primarily because it’s relatively inexpensive. The majority of parties you attend will offer kegs of beer and you might change your mind about the taste”.
“What are you telling me, mom, that you expect me to begin drinking in high school?” She asked. “No. What I’m telling you is that you will feel pressured to drink; take a sip, experiment. You can tell me today that you will never take a drink in High School, but I do not wear rose colored glasses.” She didn’t really respond for a few moments, almost confused by what I said. To clarify, I said, “Doll, both your dad and I learned how to drink beer and wine in high school”. She turned and looked at me, slowly nodding the information into place.
Then I went into the meat of the issue…
“A few years back, there was this boy who attended Ottawa Hills, HS, a senior; who was killed in a drunk driving accident. He was driving home from a high school party drunk, was behind the wheel and rolled his car off the road and died. His parents and siblings are devastated by his death. Drinking in high school is common, because peer pressure makes it so easy. But, deciding not to allow peer pressure to bully you into doing so is huge!! Yet easier said than done.”
“Mom, if I came home drunk after a party in high school would you be upset?” She asked. “Yes. Because you just told me you would be the designated driver….”I began and was interrupted. “No, I mean, if someone else was driving…” I would understand and be upset because you know better. Then you would be grounded and forced to hear me talk endlessly about the dangers of drinking at your age” I said and smiled. “Honestly doll, I don’t know how I will respond. What I can tell you today is, your dad and I love you so much, losing you to an alcohol related issue would just about kill us. Simply because it’s preventable.”
Tired of our little talk, she put her headphones back in her ears and pretended to ignore me. I meanwhile sent off a silent prayer hoping she’ll understand when the situation arises someday in the (hopefully) distant future.