Forever Young and Sober, Please
Several years ago a colleague of mine said that I was “irrepressible.” After I looked that word up, I was flattered. It means that you can’t keep me down. Make fun of me, shatter my fantasies, burst my bubble, but I’ll create a new one.
And so, even though my parenting fantasies have not all come true, I continue to come up with new ones. Like the one I have now, which is that first grade and preschool will last forever, and my boys will always be interested in snuggling in bed with me and tickling each other and fighting over inconsequential things like LEGO guys or who gets out of the car first.
And the big one: that they will never be stupid or pressured enough to use drugs, or God forbid, get drunk and drive. Especially not in high school. Aside from locking them in the closet from age 16 to age 21, I’ve figured out that the best I can do is clench all of my muscles in anxiety during those years, and relax only when they are legal and less stupid. I suppose that, since they are boys, that idea will condemn me to a life of misery.
I wonder how I was gifted with the horror of drugs and alcohol at an early age. When I was 16 and kids in my school were planning after-parties for the prom, I was the one who dictated to my friends that there would be NO DRINKING in our circle. (Yes, I was a very fun friend.) If there was even a hint that (gasp) drugs (gasp) were on the premises of a party, I would immediately leave. To be honest, I didn’t go to that many parties. But that’s another post.
Luckily, my paranoia didn’t prevent me from becoming an awesome life-of-the-party friend in later years, but I’m quite sure it prevented me from making any number of serious wrong turns while in high school. I wish I knew my parents’ secret to making a kid like that. I don’t think they even know their secret. My hope is that Kyle and Brady will each have their own healthy dose of self-esteem and fear from whatever anti-drug campaign is running when they are in middle school that they will just say no when alcohol or drugs are offered to them too soon.
Since their high school days are years away, I can sit back and watch as brainy scientific people come up with devices that promise to relieve my anxiety. To do my clenching for me, if you will. Isn’t technology wonderful? Soberlink has introduced a home breathalyzer that sends a blood alcohol level to your phone, with a handy built-in camera and embedded GPS so your teen can’t fake it.
The video feels slightly big-brothery, and the dad hugging the teen girl makes me get a little teary-eyed and miss my dad. Remind me to tell you that one story about how I got arrested when I was 16 and he didn’t get mad.
I hope I won’t need a device like Soberlink, but it’s nice to know it’s out there if necessary. I can’t imagine what will exist by the time my boys are driving. You’re on notice, technology. I expect teleportation by then. Teleporting under the influence isn’t illegal or dangerous, right?
What’s your secret, or your plan? Did you ever get arrested as a teen for underage drinking? Please share!
This post is sponsored by Soberlink. All recollections and opinions are my own.