in the "want to smack someone silly" department…

I am supposed to feel sorry for this Virginia mother because she was convicted of serving alcohol to minors at her son’s sixteenth birthday party. She has spent the last three years trying to get her conviction overturned, and appealing to the public for sympathy.

WHY would anyone supply alcohol to teenagers?

Her rationale was, apparently, that “they were going to drink anyway” so she purchased $340 worth of beer and wine for 30 high school guests. She made them promise that they would not drink and drive but that they would spend the night.

When a neighbor reported underage drinking and the police appeared, the kids yelled “cops!” and scattered into the woods. Most were rounded up.

This mom asked kids to lie, to cover up the event, and was initially denying everything. However, as the Breathalyzer tests came out positive, and the other parents reacted with anger, she was arrested, tried and convicted, and got the maximum sentence of 27 months in prison.

Now she admits she “made a mistake” and wants to have her sentence reduced or dismissed. Rarely are sentences of this length ordered, but the sentiments against teen drinking have grown in the last several years. She feels that she has been “victimized” in all of this, and her kids are embarrassed.

To which I say, I’m sorry. But I’m glad.

You see, here in our area alone…
…a teen was killed recently because the driver in her car ran a red light.
…a cyclist was paralyzed because a drunk driver could not keep his car on the road.
…a group of seniors were suspended from school because they were drunk for their senior class picture and failed Breathalyzer tests.

In every case, the person driving under the influence was underage. Someone, somewhere provided (or sold) the drivers the drugs and/or alcohol which led to these accidents.

It is not easy parenting teens. I want my kids to have friends, and to have fun. Legally. Which means that, no, I will not let them have a party unchaperoned.
And no, I will not serve alcohol, or even have it in an area of the house where the teens will be.
And no, there will not be a co-ed sleepover.

This mom, like many who want to be “the fun mom,” went too far. She stopped being a parent and tried to be a buddy to her children. It’s a fine line.

My kids know I love them. They have experienced my somewhat off-beat sense of humor, and we do have a lot of fun together. But they know I am their MOM first, and always will be.

Twenty-seven months is a long time in a parent’s life. I do hope that she and her kids hang in there through this experience, and that her children will not make the same mistake when they are parents…

I don’t feel sorry for this mom. I feel sad for her. And for her kids…

I will make plenty of mistakes as a parent. But this is one that I hope I will be able to avoid…

Deb

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