I D.A.R.E. YOU!


I went to a "big event" this morning - the DARE graduation. A celebration of 5th graders promising to resist drugs, alcohol, smoking and other temptations. There were several speakers (our dull mayor got shown up by the mayor of Raritan's vibrancy). Speeches aside, the kids have spent many weeks learning good choices and hopefully they will remember it.

I felt more than a little hypocritical - and a little panicked.

My drinking escapades started when I was only 2 1/2 years older than C! I was 13 when JK and I stole vodka from a relative and that we drank at her birthday party. I probably had only a teaspoon of the poisonous tasting stuff. The following winter a cute senior offered me (an impressionable 14 year old) swigs from his Southern Comfort flask. From then on much of the socializing I have been to has included or focused on alcohol. Even today "dry" parties are unusual.

While I have a lot of experience with alcohol, I have very little with drugs. If the stories are true, my late brother certainly was no stranger to various hallucinogens. He was a teen in the late 60s, very popular and it seems like the his entire (albeit way too short) adult life was one big party. His wife has shared a few choice stories... he was even high on their first date.

My Mom was a chain smoker who died of lung cancer. I have always hated cigarettes. It was never a problem to resist smoking.

Several of the Moms were joking about today's graduation. It was funny. But deep inside it was mostly scary. I have a long list of things I shouldn't have done under the influence. I have lots of wild stories. How do I discuss honestly the dangers of drugs and alcohol with my kids when the time comes? It's bad parenting 101:

Do as I say, not as I do.

C could be at someone's birthday 2 years from now, drinking something stolen from her grandmother (that's where we got the stuff at JK's)! It seems impossible, but I guess it's not. My parents probably felt the same way about me at 13. That I was too young and innocent to do that. Let's hope she and her friends make better choices than I did, and if and when they do try alcohol they don't get carried away!

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