This week is Red Ribbon Week at my daughter’s elementary school. You know, the whole ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ campaign. Yesterday was ‘Put Drugs To Sleep Pajama Day.’ Bryn wore her favorite pajamas to school and they had an assembly in the cafeteria. Great. No big deal.
I’m all for educating kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, until you (insert name of elementary school here) try and fuck with my wine.
My husband and I are causal drinkers. We enjoy a glass of wine or beer in the evening. We especially love wine. It’s relaxing, it tastes good, and one glass at the end of a rough day is just enough to smooth out the edges of my stay-home-mommy-madness.
Bryn came home from school yesterday and this was the conversation she initiated with me:
Bryn: Mom, we learned about drugs at school again this year, and guess what my teacher said. Did you know that alcohol is the same as drugs? Beer and wine is alcohol, and that’s the same as drugs. My teacher said so. So when you and daddy drink wine, you’re eating drugs. When daddy drinks his Blue Moon Beer, he is eating drugs! (She looks scandalized because now she thinks we’re drug addicts).
Me: No, that’s not true.
Bryn: Yes it is. My teacher said so.
Me: Bryn, alcohol is similar to drugs because if you consume too much of it, it can be harmful. It can impair your senses and make you sick. But if an adult drinks one or two glasses of beer or wine, it’s not the same as taking drugs. Alcohol is not illegal like the drugs you’ve learned about. It’s not the same. It’s important for kids to learn about the dangers of drug use when you’re young so that when you are older you can make good choices and recognize unhealthy behavior, like taking drugs or drinking to much alcohol and acting irresponsibly. Of course kids shouldn’t drink alcohol any more than they should do drugs, but an adult of legal age having a glass of wine is not the same as taking illegal drugs.
Bryn: Yes it is. My teacher said so.
Me: Bryn, it isn’t the same.
Bryn: Yes it is.
(At this point I’m trying not to raise my voice.)
Bryn: I’m telling daddy that he eats drugs when he drinks his wine.
Me: You go ahead and tell daddy that, and let me know how that works out for you.
After dinner, my husband poured himself a glass of wine. I watched as Bryn eyed the wine with a practiced stink eye. And then she said, “Daddy, guess what I learned at school today.”
I think I speak for both my husband and I, as well as many other parents of school age children when I say this…
Dear (Insert name of elementary school here), thank you for teaching my child that her parents, and most of her friends parents, are potential drug addicts. Thank you for trying to deprive parents of the liquid life-support that we need in order for us to get through a school year.
How am I, and all the other parents, supposed to endure the endless hours of homework, common core bullshit, and instrument practice you send home each day?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit for 15 minutes every night and listen to my child attempt to play the flute for the fifth grade band? That shit is excruciating, and I can listen and be supportive and give her a thumbs up for her attempts to blow air into that God forsaken metal tube, and tolerate the horrific noise that sounds like dying birds only because of my dear friend, Chardonnay.
Chardonnay understands that I need to stay calm and composed when I am unable to help my daughter with her fifth grade math. Pinot Grigio understands when my daughter has three to four hours of homework every night. Sauvignon Blanc is prepared to help me comfort and calm my child when she is overwhelmed and exhausted over the ridiculous responsibilities and pressures put on elementary school kids.
Additionally, let’s consider the extensive volunteer responsibilities you demand of parents. For example, the only way I am even willing to volunteer at the school Halloween carnival in the food booth line, standing on my feet for two hours asking a thousand people if they want cheese on their hamburger, is because I know I get to go home and enjoy a glass of wine after my shift! You cannot ruin wine for me, so stop trying.
So, (insert name of elementary school here), take a moment to consider the impossible position you just put two hundred parents in tonight, trying to reassure their kids that we don’t do drugs. Better yet, why don’t you just calm down, and have a glass of wine. 🙂