To recap from our last episode, we sent our daughter off to her first Bacchanalia. A post semester high school party scheduled to start at 11 pm. Yes, 11 pm. Far too late for any working parent to go spy or chaperone.
So, we sent her and a friend with our driver and a litany of warnings and do’s and don’ts and faith that she had enough common sense to come home safely.
And, she did!
She came home safely within curfew. Remember, this is a liberal drinking age country and she confirmed that alcohol was flowing freely. We’ve never really hidden alcohol from our kids. They’ve been offered tastes from a very young age and none of them have liked the taste. Whatever taste we’ve provided has often been spit back out.
So, we counseled for years about the alcohol hiding in all those fru-fru drinks and how this is often a young person’s downfall. “This tastes just like Kool-Aid!”
This advice, though, offered no preparation for the Indonesian way of nightlife. The drink of choice for your typical teen here? Vodka… shots.
And this, in a single moment, demonstrates the power of peer pressure.
All the years when she’s been offered sips of beer or wine by her parents have been met with a screwed up face and gagging and sometimes spraying the offending agent back at us. But, when a classmate offers her a shot of vodka? Sure, why not? Everyone else is doing it.
She said it tasted awful, and this is when, maybe, common sense kicked back in and she didn’t drink anymore. She did get some interesting insights into how alcohol works in some of her friends. She said this party was a lot like her catholic middle school dances, when everyone was sort of goofy and disinhibited because they didn’t know better. Dancing and talking in clots and acting silly.
3 or 4 years on, it is still the same; disinhibited but for different reasons. Best of all, though, she had fun and would go again. And we will feel a little more comfortable with the idea.
On the other side of the family tree, our son passed his first semester at university and successfully navigated his way solo around the world through missed flights and lost luggage and nearly 24 hours sitting in a metal tube. It is wonderful to have him back in our lives for a few weeks.
This week it feels good to be a parent. I swear last night I heard a deep, warm, computer-generated gong-tone and a deep voice that said,..
“Level Up! Congratulations! Adolescent knowledge attained. You gained 50 experience points, 10 wisdom credits and 1000 grey hairs!”