Prom. The night of a zillion lost virginities, underage drinking, and general debauchery.
Unless you’re my son, of course.
I wasn’t a big drinker in high school and JDHS was exceptionally good at putting together fun activities to keep us out of trouble. Maybe that’s just how much of a party animal I wasn’t. I actually looked forward to the sober Juneau Racquet Club after-prom activities.
The truth is, I wanted to party, I just couldn’t. My school’s competitive dance team was too important to me. We weren’t even allowed to be at parties where there was drugs or drinking.
So I stayed far, far away.
So far away that one night at a cabin party, I heard via the walkie talkies that beer was on its way and I made my poor friend Brynith hike back to Juneau with me. We passed the beer on the beach and I stayed down by the shore so I wasn’t even within a stone’s throw from the stuff.
I never went crazy, even in college, but now looking back on my life, I kind of wish I had.
My friends have so many great stories that make my life seem tame. They tell tales of sorority and frat parties, drunken nights with keg stands and beer pong – both of which I’ve ever done. They’ve made memories I don’t have and never will, and yeah – I feel like I missed out on a vital piece of my history.
So when I heard that my teenage son was invited to a party last night, I told him he needed to go. I didn’t give him permission to drink or smoka the ganj, but I did tell him that if he needed a sober ride home, that I was just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
He promised that he’d call as long as I wouldn’t snitch about underage drinking.
He decided not go to.
I plead with him to go make memories, go have fun, don’t drink if you don’t want to, but at LEAST go have fun.
He said no.
I told him I’d come get him and I swore that I wouldn’t snitch on anyone.
He said no.
His reasoning was so reasonable, but I couldn’t feel anything except failure. He didn’t want cops to show up and arrest everyone for underage drinking. I don’t know what the laws are in Florida, but I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be the case.
He didn’t want to be there at all.
It was a solid case of guilt by association, which he didn’t want any part of.
I get it, I really do. It’s exactly why I didn’t party in high school, but he doesn’t stand to lose the same things I did.
Apparently he stands to lose even more.
He wants to go to college and is afraid he won’t be accepted into his top choices if he has a record, and he’s probably right. He also wants to teach high school some day and wants to be a good example for his students.
But he’s only 16, how is he already so wise?
And how did I get lucky enough to call him mine?