Saturday, August 27, 2011

One BIG Mistake I Felt I Made As A Mom...

The only post I have ever made so far on my blog have been about my crafting, mostly the cards that I have made and my scrapbook pages. Lately I've been reading a few of my crafting buddies blogs where they have posted some personal "insights" or other personal details Reading them made me think about some things and go "Ummmmmm". 

One was this one where she talked about her Momma...Nothin' Fancy. This one where a good friend talked about the challenges her daughter faced the first day of kindergarten being she is a special needs child...Leah's First  Day Of Kindergarten...

So this story about a tragic end to a young girl's life has been on my mind for the last few I thought I would share it with my blogging buddies. People that know me know I'm a news junkie. I love to watch the news...I watch the morning news, the evening news and if I'm still up the late news. So on Thursday I am watching the evening news and there was a story about a young girl that was found unresponsive in her college dorm room then was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. It was just another tragic story until about an hour later when I read on Facebook that she had just graduated from the same high school that my Step-daughter had attended, she had been friends with my Step-daughter and had even came to our house for one of her birthday parties...that put a face to the story. Reading more about it I found she was a Freshman at the college that my youngest son attends. Classes had just started on Monday so in her hurry to "live the college life" she did not even make it through the first week. Results are still pending on how she died but it is suspected that alcohol was involved. She had attended a party at a fraternity house earlier that night and it is thought alcohol was there. Another twist to this story is the fraternity house that the party was at was the same one that my middle son had applied for and gotten the job of house dad but after some soul searching turned it down.

I'm rambling but now to one reason it has been on my mind. The one regret I have looking back on raising my sons is I allowed them to drink before they were 21. I felt that what was the harm? I think I wanted them to feel grown-up. I regret  that now. I wish I  had instead explained the law to them and the reason the law was there and made my expectation known to them that I expected them to follow the law. I count myself lucky that nothing happened to my sons because of my mistake in parenting. Again people who know me might find this a bit strange because it is not my habit to drink. I'm not against it, I just never has been a part of my life. I don't keep it in the house and as a regular habit I don't order a drink when I go out.

My heart goes out to her family. I look back to the days of getting my sons ready to go off to college and how that whole summer I was consumed on getting the stuff he need to set up his dorm room. I can't imagine helping your daughter set up her first dorm room only to have something like this happen before the first week of school is even over.

I feel that if we don't send a clear message to our children about how easy it is to drink too much then it is easy for them to feel it is okay to break this law (as long as they can get away with it what's the harm, right?). Do we spend too much time talking about the dangers of drinking and driving that they think it's okay as long as I'm not driving.

While children are resilient and seems to do okay even though we make mistakes, in my opinion I think this is one can really do some long lasting harm. I count my blessing that despite my mistake in this area my sons have turned out the be fine young men.


Sue Painter said...

What a thoughtful post, Bethany. I'm not sure it was a mistake to let your sons drink. My parents let me drink at home and in return asked that I never drink away from home in high school or college - and by giving me a few beers or screwdrivers at home they totally took the mystery out of drinking for me. I really didn't even like the taste, and to this day I wouldn't care if I never had another drink at all. But if it had been forbidden, I'm sure I would have gone out and tried it somewhere, maybe to a tragic effect.

BettyBee said...

Very insightful, and I agree with you. My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young girl. Such a sad time, but hopefully her fate will be a message to those around her. Thanks for taking the time to share her story. Hugs to you. You do have very fine sons. XOX

Camille said...

Bethany, I know what you are feeling and will keep you in my thoughts. We had a similar situation happen about 4 years ago with a young boy my boys knew. He was watched like a hawk until he went to college and was denied the experiences his peers were having in high school. By the time he got to college, he went totally crazy trying everything under the sun that his parents shielded him from with a sad and fatal outcome. Having two sons I have been where you are but I agree with Sue. I allowed my boys to drink at home after they turned 18 and also believe it is what saved theirs lives by the time they got to college. The mystery was gone and they found it none too exciting. Don't feel bad because your trust in your boys may have given them more self worth and ultimately been a life saving tool. It's not the alcohol that kills people, it's the misuse of it.