The pouring of the wine usually happens right after my kids go to bed (can we all say a collective Aaaaaaaaaaaah), but on occasion, particularly at restaurants, Braden has seen me with a glass of wine. I can't remember when we came up with this name, but he now calls it "Mommy's juice." Braden knows that "Mommy's juice" is just for mommies, but he always asks to smell it. I admit that we all get a kick out of this and think it's kind of cute.
I never really thought much of it, to be honest.
Then last week I went to a lunch with Debbie Phelps (yes, the Debbie Phelps, mother of the Olympian), Hilary Phelps (yes, the sister of the Olympian), some other local bloggers, and representatives of the Century Council, which is a national not-for-profit dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. As part of their initiative, they have developed a program called Ask, Listen, Learn to help parents talk to their children about health and underage drinking.
|That's me in the back. The back back. The floating head.|
Maybe it's not so cute.
That's not to say that I am going to stop drinking wine. Oh no, no, no. I drink wine responsibly (with a few exceptions, always sans kids!). I am a grown up. I have earned it.
But my little boy... my God, the issues he is going to face. And the issues I'm going to have to face as his mom. Steering him in the right direction, but not controlling him. Having faith he will make the right decisions. And dealing with the flashbacks of my own life when I wasn't so wise, and praying to God that he won't be as stupid as I was.
Man, I really don't want him to grow up. But in reality, it's not that far off.
Should I be laid back about it? Let him have a sip of alcohol every now and again (once he's older of course), so it doesn't seem all the more attractive because it's forbidden? Or do I draw a hard line? No exceptions? Set out consequences? Or should I be the mom that offers to pick him up if he's been drinking so he doesn't end up getting in a car, no questions asked?
Maybe it's some compromise of all of the above. The truth is, I have no idea. I suppose I'll figure it out as I go.
But there are resources. If you do have a "tween" and want to start talking to them about these issues, you can go to the Ask, Listen, Learn website. There's a lot of tips and helpful information there.
As for me, for now I'll rename "Mommy's juice" something more appropriate. Like "thou which shall not be consumed by you until your 21," or maybe something crazy like, "red wine."
And I'll relish his innocence while I still can.