When my kids were growing up I told them that while I really prefer they don’t drink at all, if they did and found themselves without a safe ride home they could call me day or night. I didn’t promise to be chipper, but I did promise to not show up with Medusa hair.
Well, that call came last Saturday night. My son was at a party celebrating college midterms. One of the DD’s left and the other decided to “just have a couple drinks”. My son called me at 230 in the morning and no, I was not chipper. I was really, really disappointed in him. But I picked him up as promised, sans the hissing hair. It would be pointless to lecture him at that point anyway, don’t you think?
Now some consider this dirty laundry and would never consider blogging about their child calling them intoxicated needing a ride home. And trust me, I’m not proud of it. However, he made the not so great decision to drink and the very good decision to call me instead of trying to get home with any of the half dozen intoxicated college students he was with.
You see, I was in a terrible car crash when I was a teenager. I had not been drinking, but got in the car with a friend who swore she’d only had a few drinks. (Which should have been too many, but I was dumb.) Come to find out she was three times over the legal limit. I found this out in the E.R. after the car flipped six times on the freeway doing eighty mph. It’s a wonder I lived.
So I made it a point to tell my kids that story and really drive it home how important it was to have a safe way home. Now my mistake was different. I thought a few drinks was safe. No one ever really told me otherwise. But I was sure to tell my kids.
When I picked my son up they had a few friends walk him a block away to wait. They didn’t want a “mom” knowing where the house was and calling the cops on the party. Of course the ducking behind bushes and the lights blinking out as my suburban came rumbling around the corner didn’t give anything away, right? I picked him up, made sure the friends who waited with him had safe rides home and then left.
It worries me that even though my son assured them it would be fine if he called me, they were still scared. Which means they sure as hell weren’t going to call their parents for a ride. They’ll risk it.
I woke up the next morning and checked the news for that county and didn’t see any accidents in the wee hours, thankfully. Although we did pass a nasty one on the way back home the night before. Double as my son’s vision was, he looked at the upside down car as we slowly rolled past and said, “Man, I’m so glad I called you.”