Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Who doesn't love a four day weekend?

Quick check in, because I will be gone all weekend so not writing today would mean likely a LONG time between posts...

Munchkin's preposterously large, completely over-the-top graduation party was last weekend, and it was a smashing success. It included:

  • a Tent
  • a LOT of people (maybe 300 at one point or another during the day?)
  • Surprisingly good weather - the forecast said overcast, maybe some rain...it was sunny and hot!
  • One adorable French boy who is now here for another week
  • Copious amounts of BBQ - ribs, brisket, chicken, cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans, corn and oh, so very much pie!
  • Several of the Chicago folks
  • An awful lot of beer

Munchkin felt loved, which was kind of the whole point, and as I told So Midwestern yesterday, she does very well as the center of attention. That actually sounds bad...I don't mean to imply that she seeks or demands attention, just that her reaction to something like this is an overwhelming joy at having so many people around that she cares about.

And many, many thanks to Big Sis who did the vast majority of the work to pull this together. It was her house, and she took care of the food and the tent and everything else. I really only had to deal with inviting everyone and delivering the guest of honor:-).

She and Frenchie have been at the beach all week, and the rest of us are headed down tomorrow (except for The Boy, who is headed down with his friend on his friend's new boat...one of the three worst ideas I have ever heard;-)). Should be a great weekend! The house will be packed, the weather looks good, and it's a full four days long. How can that possibly not be awesome?

I'm going to leave you with a question that I have sort of asked before, and which is prompted by observations of parents and later-teenaged children at the same party:

How did you parents treat alcohol around you at almost-drinking age? And how do you (or do you plan to) treat it with your kids? If you are at the same place, and not traveling anywhere, would your parents let you drink...a little? A lot? Strictly forbidden?

My observational analysis says that this is all over the place, so I'd like to hear what you think!


Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend, both last and upcoming!

My parents were pretty casual about alcohol when I was growing up. They were social drinkers, serving drinks when they had guests and drinking wine or beer at dinner. When I was 7 or 8, I loved tasting my dad's gin and tonics (with his permission, not behind his back). I didn't drink as a teenager, so I'm not sure how they would've responded if I did. I do remember my mom offering to buy me some beer when I was home for vacation as a freshman in college and my dad calling her out on the offer, saying I wasn't yet 21.

I'm not really sure we'll be much different with Gavin. We don't drink very much at home. I don't think we'll be particularly strict, but I don't think we'll encourage underage drinking, either. And, if it turns out he experiments with drinking as a teen, then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, as a German I am probably out of sorts here. We are allowed to start drinking with 18 over here.
While I grew up I remember slurping the foam from my Dad’s beer when I was about 4 or 5? That was kind of fun and we all did it. On summer evenings we all played outside together and our Dad’s sat in one of the front yards and drank a beer together.
When we had parties at home I remember there always was wine and beer for the grown-ups. But my parents didn’t drink at dinner or on a regular basis.
I think I was allowed to have my first “Radler” - which is a mixture from beer and white lemonade - when I was about 14. I should mention that I don’t really like beer or even wine for that matter. It’s still only the occasional “Radler” for me and nothing else.
As we are allowed into a club with 16 over here we get access to alcohol in some way. I have to admit in my time they haven’t been looking that closely how old you are and you at least got a beer while out and about and sometimes even some whiskey and coke or other things.
I know the rules are a lot tighter these days to prevent underage drinking. I know they ask for your ID at clubs now when you order drinks and they want to see your ID in the shops when you try to buy booze.
I never went crazy with alcohol and I never drank so much that I was sick or passed out or anything. I admit that I had some booze from the age of 16 on when we went to a party or club but I always had just one, maybe two drinks and then it was coke and water for the rest of the night.
And it continues like that until today.

I don’t have kids jet but I think I would try to handle it the same way. Let them have some Radler or wine when they are 14 and/ or older (if they don’t want anything with age 14 I will for sure not force them to) and then see how it goes.
Like I said, I could only keep them from drinking until they are 18 and I can only hope if they grow up in a sable family with not much drinking going on at home that they will adjust and behave like we did back then.

Anonymous said...

My parents were social drinkers, parties and the like. My dad loved beer and often allowed us kids to have a sip until we got to a certain age. I can't remember for the life of me what that age was. I'm up the age "group" in which at 18 the legal drinking age. The January following my 18 bday the laws changed to 21!! Ha meaning my at the time boyfriend now husband missed the "cut off" by four months. Of course he still registered for the draft at 18 and promptly joined the Navy. But couldn't legally purchase alcohol! Hmm as far as our kids were, I didn't encourage under age drinking but have had an open and honest line of communication. That said neither even asked as HS students, they were both big athletes, thankfully that held their interest. Until college. At that time when asked I allowed them to drink at our home, mostly they camped out in our backyards, I took every set of car keys as they arrived. No one left before I was up the next AM, as I slept with everyone's car keys! Now would I do so now?? No way! Way too risky and my husband has worked way too hard for what we have to lose it. That said the group of kids that both kids hung out with we knew the parents and were all of the same mind set. There were times we'd not allow the kids whose parents we didn't know very well, as we turned those away who we knew their parents were very against under age drinking. Is this the right thing for everyone? Hell no but it's a choice we made and I'm sure there will be many haters. Although I respect everyone's thoughts and feelings and ask for the sane.

Kari said...

The drinking age is 18 here and sneaking into bars was more fun than actually drinking at them when I was underage. We have safe grad here where you (and underage guests) can drink at a controlled party. Your parents have to sign a waiver, the RCMP/city police agree to look the other way on the condition that the party is limited to grads and invited guests (guest lists have to be vetted) and everyone is driven home. You (your parents) have to provide your own alcohol (it must be dropped off in advance). You can only drink your own alcohol (you have a bracelet with a number on it corresponding to your alcohol stash). There is no drinking by the chaperones who change off about every 2 hours (and there are a bunch more rules) It is generally an all night party, and for a lot of kids is their first experience getting drunk (often your are invited as a guest when you are 16/17).
My parents didn't drink much when I was growing up but my great aunt was always giving us "hard liquor" at every family gathering once we were "adults" in her eyes (12!). Usually it was something horrible like Austrian Pear Brandy. Suprisingly none of the cousins really drink now!
Underage drinking doesn't bother me much, but drinking and driving does.

Lifting What? said...

Growing up in Germany the drinking age is a lot younger. The first time I got tipsy was at a friend's vineyard. I was 14 and my parents were with me the entire time and allowed, shit, maybe half a glass of wine? HA. After that I was allowed wine at dinners if I wanted, not at home dinners, but restaurants dinners. Alcohol was never a taboo in our house and I never ever had a feeling of needing to use booze to rebel against my parents. When I went to college in the US I could not believe the kind of drunken insanity I was seeing every weekend with people passing out and puking all over the place. I had never seen that in Germany despite being allowed alcohol earlier. I think it's tough in the US because the drinking age is ridiculous with 21. CHildren are basically allowed to use a dangerous weapon (CAR) or wait, go to war and kill people, but drinking clearly requires more maturity? I am not sure about that. Statistics in Germany actually show that while young driver (driver's license age is 18) obviously still have the most accidents, they have less than in the US and more importantly, less drunk driving accidents. I am convinced it's because we can legally drink earlier and by the time we get to drive we have a pretty good clue what alcohol does to you.

I digress. It's a tough one in the US for sure, because what if you do the European approach but then have kids at the party who's parents are in the 21 group and freaking call the cops on you? Tough.