How do you celebrate your child’s graduations? Most people take their kid out to dinner, give them a nice graduation gift (if you need help finding a gift, check out the post I wrote on graduation gifts here: Graduation Gift Ideas ). And many kids will later go to graduation parties.
I have a neighbor, let’s call her Jane. Her daughter is graduating from high school this year. That’s great right?
Well Jane and her husband are planning a big party for her daughter and her friends at their house. Still good, right?
And they are planning on serving alcohol at this party.
They have invited my son since he’s known this girl for many years. He’s a few years older but not of drinking age yet (not until December).
Now, I don’t delude myself into thinking that my son has never drank. He’s a great kid. Very responsible. But I’m sure he’s had a few drinks at parties and such. I have never seen him drunk, but like I said, I’m sure he has at least tried it.
I’m not a prude. I did some partying in my youth. But I can’t, in my wildest dreams understand how any sane adult, would serve alcohol to a bunch of teens. What are they thinking?
When I asked “Jane” about why she felt the need to do this, she said it was because she knew kids drank, and sometimes did worse, at graduation parties and to keep her daughter home, and safe, she would allow her to have booze at her party in their home.
Um, okay, that kind of makes sense. So her daughter stays safe at home. But what about all those kids who come to the party, get drunk, and then DRIVE home? What about them? Did she realize that she can be held responsible for serving underage kids? I did ask her that but she just kind of blew me off about it like I was taking things too seriously.
I don’t think I am.
My other thoughts on this is, what kind of message are those parents sending their daughter and their friends? It’s okay to drink AND get drunk? And then drive? It’s okay to flaunt your disregard for the law and do what you want to do? It’s okay to not care about the parents of those other kids? Or the safety of those other kids?
I’m just totally blown away by all of this. I have never been friends with the mom, Jane. But we always had a cordial neighborly relationship. I now look at her in a totally different way.
I asked my son if he planned on going to the party, but being that they are all 3 years younger than him, he said he didn’t want to be around a bunch of goofy, drunk teenagers. That’s good. He wouldn’t be driving of course but I rather he not be involved in all of this. And technically, he’s over 18 so I couldn’t stop him from going if he really wanted to.
So, what do I do now? Do I call the cops and tell them what they are planning? Do I stay up late, and offer rides to the kids I see leaving that look inebriated? Do I call the parents of the other kids, at least the ones I know who are invited? I hate that the burden of all this suddenly feels like it’s on my shoulders and on these idiot parents. I know whatever I do, or don’t do, can cause life changing consequences.
If I do nothing and something happens to one of these young people, I will feel forever guilty and I don’t know if I could live with myself.
If I call the police, my neighbors will know it was from me, and that will alter our relationship forever. I have to live in the same neighborhood as these people. Not to mention the legal trouble they will be in.
If I offer rides, that’s all well and good but I probably won’t be able to catch all the drunk kids as they are leaving. And what if those kids refuse the ride and insist on driving?
So, my question is, what would you do if you were in my situation?
P.S. If you are still looking for gifts for the graduate in your life, check out this post: Graduation Gift Ideas