It’s Quite Clear, I Don’t Miss It
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a house party, or any party for that matter, and yet recently, we ended up playing host to one. It wasn’t intentional, I think the words “BBQ” and “Friends” were mentioned, and as it was one of our kids’ birthdays, we said yes. It was meant to be more of a gathering than a party and we said it was no problem as long as everyone was sensible. No one has drunk in our house since I stopped over five years ago, so although I wanted to do it for them, it was weird. I’ve always been honest, but my problems are not my kids problems, and they’re not going to learn from my mistakes, so we let them explore (within reason).
My teenager was summoned to the door by other teenagers requiring access. Some nodded towards me, others didn’t, and once they were in, that was it, the house apparently was theirs. I didn’t mind, not while they were being respectful, but it’s funny that the parental gatekeepers of the front door don’t seem to exist as they once did. There was no small talk or forced politeness. I was the one who felt awkward in the house.
Suffice to say, we didn’t sleep much that night, but one by one, the teenagers departed, leaving the house quieter and quieter until four remained, watching movies in the lounge. When I got up the next morning, they were still asleep, four mounds under the covers. I looked outside, my lovely garden strewn with rubbish, but other than that, everything seemed to have survived. The house was all in one piece, and so were they. Although I am sure, several of them had sore heads.
For me it’s too much drama. I don’t miss that at all. The tears and unpredictable emotions that I witnessed from the other side, as one or two of them drank more than they should. No harm was done, but I know my own teenager was more stressed than necessary, feeling a watchful eye needed to be kept all night. The evening of fun and enjoyment was ruined for him by those who lacked control. It’s a hard lesson, but one I hope he learns while he’s young, before he makes the mistakes I did. On the good side, whatever else happened, it served a good reminder to me, for why I don’t drink, and for that, I’m grateful to them.