Friday, February 24, 2012

Learning to BE the example.

This family knows how to have a good time. It's no secret that we are bit of party animals here. We met at a New Years Eve party, enough said. And while I love a large glass of pinot noir or dirty martini as I have gotten older I have become increasingly aware of the realities of life. Age doesn't make you immune to poor decision making.

As a parent, I do not believe in hiding things from your children. I was raised in family that regularly enjoyed happy hour at gatherings. My granddad always made me a Shirley Temple and I have many fond memories in my grandparents living room with everyone sharing a drink. I was exposed to responsible drinking at an early age and truly feel it molded me in a responsible social drinker as an adult.

We have no plans to hide our love for wine from our boys. I assume they feel that social responsible drinking as an adult is the norm. But, as we have grown in the responsibility of parenthood we have also had to take a hard look at how we handle certain situations and the example we are setting for our kids. That can be hard.  No one wants to admit that even as parent they may make a choice or two that we would rather our kids not do.

One of those choices is drinking and driving. I am not talking about the obvious belligerent drunk you need not drive. I am talking about what many of us are guilty of,  pushing the line. Driving when you are probably fine but if involved in an accident it could be bad. My hope is my children refrain from drinking at an early age but I am not naive to the realities of growing up. And the one thing I absolutely do not ever want my kids to do is drink and drive. It can kill you. It can kill someone else. In a moment it can ruin your life forever. That reality scares me a lot.

After a lot of thought and realizing that children are way more likely to do what you do, not what you say Craig and I made a family decision. No more than two drinks or no driving. No matter how long in between consumption. No splitting hairs. No, I weigh 80 more pounds than you. You want to let lose and drink feel free but call a cab. Our children will grow up seeing mom and dad utilize cabs. Yes, it may cost us a bit more on a date night but its cheaper than a DUI and better than death or going to jail.

It is our hope that our kids see Mom and Dad have a good time but be smart. Just maybe our actions can impress on them a reality that I am confident would probably be ignored if it was just words.

And in all honesty, it has been nice. Since making this life change we have had a few date nights and it was so lovely to savor each sip of wine and bite of food. To talk and enjoy each other and never think about how much we were drinking. We just had fun. Called a cab and came home. It's the responsible adult decision and its one we are consciously making.

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