Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shot Of Vodka Before Homeroom, Anyone?

Yesterday, the Guidance Counselor at my son’s school made me cry.

Not ‘can’t catch your breath sobbing’ kind of cry, but oh yeah, there were a few tears.

Just after 10am, I received a phone call at work.

It seems someone gave my son a water bottle, filled with a substance they said was Chocolate Milk.

It was his friends who gave it to him. And it wasn’t chocolate milk. It was a Vodka Mudshake.

The phone call was from the Guidance Counselor, informing me that my 13yr old kid had his first taste of alcohol … at school.

That’s not what made me cry.

Some time yesterday morning, three girls came up to my son at his locker, gave him one of the school water bottles, and told him 'Here! Have some! It’s chocolate milk.'

He looked from one to the other of the girls, and they were all nodding encouragement, ‘Go ahead, it’s just chocolate milk.’

Let me point out that these three girls are his friends. Not bullies, not someone who cornered him and said ‘drink this or else!’ …. His FRIENDS.

He took the first gulp, and had the second in his mouth when he realized what he was drinking was most definitely NOT chocolate milk!

That’s when the girls revealed what was truly in the bottle.

Alec went to his next class extremely upset. Not only was he bothered that he'd been tricked, he knew what they had done was wrong.

He knows the rules on alcohol and drugs. Very simple. DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THEM! Period.

And you know what? He’s a good kid. Alcohol, smoking and drugs aren’t his thing.

For today, I can say he’s on the right path. I’d like him to stay there.

Now, we were all teenagers once. I’m not naive enough to think he’s not going to have his first drink before he’s 19 (legal age in Canada).

I know in the years to come, there will be parties, and there will most likely be alcohol at some of these parties.

But we’re not there yet.

And we’re not talking a party … we’re talking 9am, on a Tuesday morning, AT SCHOOL!!!

The whole incident really upset Alec.

So much so, he and one of his his best friends asked their teacher for a private conference in the hallway.

At the risk of getting himself in trouble with his friends, he informed the teacher of what had happened.

Then, he was sent down to the Guidance Counselor to repeat the tale.

Let me be clear that if anyone else was involved, they weren't mentioned. Alec described only his own experience.

And, not only was he worried about being in trouble with his friends AND the school, he was also concerned *I* was going to be mad at him for what happened.

Shortly after he explained the situation to the counselor, I received the phone call.

The counselor gave me the details of the incident and told me in no uncertain terms that my son had ABSOLUTELY done the right thing by saying something, and he was most definitely NOT in trouble.

He then proceeded to go on … and on, about what a ‘good kid’ my boy is. How in this particular situation, he had made the right choice.

And how much of a support he was to one of his best Buds last year, when he lost his mom.

THAT’S what brought the tears.

I know I have a good kid. I like to think others see it in him as well.

But, having a school official make it crystal clear (again), how well respected and liked my son is by the faculty … on top of the disturbing news I’d just been given, yeah, THAT made the ‘ol eyes a bit misty.

I was asked to come down to the school to pick Alec up.

He wasn’t feeling well and was still upset by the morning’s events. For a variety of reasons.

I can’t tell you the range of emotions I experienced on the 25 min drive from work to his school.

First and foremost, I was PISSED!!!!

Pissed that his friends had given him alcohol. And LIED to him about it!

Pissed that a small portion of his innocence was taken away without his consent.

Pissed that because of THEIR actions, he felt he had to choose between his friends, and what was 'right', and risk their wrath.

I was also Relieved! Relieved that it was ONLY a Mudshake, and that there hadn’t been anything else more toxic ‘slipped’ in there.

And PROUD. So damn proud of my boy.

Proud that he didn't say 'WOOHOO! THANKS!' and chug what was left in the bottle.

Proud that he would risk the friendship of these girls, and to a certain degree, the rest of his inner circle, to do what was right.

I'm sure they meant him no harm. That the whole thing was most likely a cool stunt, just a ‘big joke’ as far as they were concerned.

But Alec wasn’t laughing.

Neither am I.

And neither, I suspect, are the girls anymore, after receiving a reprimand from the school.

I know one of the girls, in particular, reads this blog.

And Missy*, for the record, I really hope you know how disappointed I am in you.

I certainly expected MORE from one of my kid’s FRIENDS.

I like my son's friends. There is a large group, and I have known most of them for years. Good kids.

Who sometimes make bad choices.

I know I can’t protect and shelter my kid from every bad choice or influence he’s going to come across. Especially now that he’s a teenager.

He's going to make many bad choices of his own over the next few years.

He has to live his own life, learn his own lessons.

Yesterday’s lesson was ‘Never take anything … ANYTHING from anyone, if you aren’t 100% sure you know what it is’.

I have to let him discover that things … and people aren’t always what they seem.

And now, we move on.

Simply treat yesterday as the learning experience it was, and start a new day with a new outlook.

So, as I headed out this morning, I gave him a quick hug, kiss on the cheek, told him to have a good day at school, then tossed over my shoulder on the way out the door ...

“ … and lay off the Booze today would ya!” ;-)

That brought about a shocked MOM!!!!!' and more importantly … a smile.

Mission accomplished ;-)


P.S * No, Missy is not her real name.


Danie said...

Kim, you've done an excellent raising your two boys. And good for Alec for doing the right thing in a tough circumstance.

I hope "Missy's" mother is creative and harsh in her punishments.

Be sure to read today's Threefer Thursday, Kim. Our topic, and especially my answer (which was written earlier this week), is directly related to your blog post.

Bonnie S. said...

I agree with Danie, Kim. You've done an excellent job raising your boys and I hope I do as well with my little boy. I enjoy reading your posts like this because it's almost a forewarning of things that I am going to have to watch out for in the future! I may be turning to you for some advice in the next 12 years! ;-)

Feeling Fit With Dana said...

Stopping by from SITS!

OMGness, I can't imagine the range of emotions you have been through in the last couple of days. I agree with the other commenters that it sounds as if you have done an excellent job raising your son and you should be proud! I hope that the punishment fits the crime for the girls.

Susan Crabtree said...

Your son is a direct reflection of you & the amazing job you are doing as a mother. As the mother of two boys, I can completely relate. You must be so proud of his choice & on being there for his friend during such a hard time. So glad I stopped by from SITS!

Kim's Korner said...

Dani - You're right! That threefer thurs post came at a PERFECT time! Sounds like we have much of the same expectations from our kids ;-)

Not sure what Missy's punishment was, other than a few days suspension, but I see she hasn't been on FB for the remainer of the week, so I'm guessing computer privileges were taken away.

Bonnie - Although I don't always enjoy living through these adventures, I'll ALWAYS write about them, hoping others may 'get' something from it. Anytime you have questions my friend, you always know where to find me. In The KORNER! ;-)

Dana - Thanks much for stopping by! and thanks for the lovely compliments :-) Girls were suspended for the remainder of the week. Not sure what they received from the parents. Funny ... I never heard from any of the parents about it either.

Susan - Thanks much also for stopping by! :-) Although I know he's going to have his share of 'bad choices' also, yes, I'm VERY proud of my boy :-)

So far, the younger one is a bit more of a challenge ... very STRONG willed lol, but ... he's getting there ;-)

To everyone who stopped by - Thanks so much for the kind words on my parenting skills. When I wrote the post, I certainly wasn't fishing for that, but I have to admit, it's been very nice reading the comments on this post.

Reminds me that I'm not perfect, and it's damn hard raising these boys on my own, but I guess I must be doing OK so far ;-)

Tanyia said...

This is my first time stopping by your blog, Happy SITS Sharefest! lol

Wow...just wow. I can imagine to your son, who is a good kid, thank God as is my daughter thus far, how he must have felt betrayed by his "friends" I think that is the worst part of the situation. That that part of his innocence is gone.

He is lucky to have a mom like you that can guide him through and joke with him about it, letting him know how much you stnad behind him! Good for you both! You must be a proud mama right about now!

Michael said...

Wow, honestly I would not imagine thirteen year olds to bring actaul vodka to school, disguised as chocolate milk.
I have known, and some of my friends, had their first drink at thirteen, grade seven/eight at parties. However, it as not at 9am on a Tuesday morning.
I'm glad your child is on the right path, you are a good mother and he has a good concionus.

Montreal Monique said...

Hi Kim, I am Danie's sister, Monique, and I am so happy that she suggested to read your blog! It isn't easy being a single mom, we always second guess our choices for our children, but when something like this happens, and we see our children making the right choices...isn't it so worth it! I cried with you, I have a daughter of the same age and as I read your blog and prayed that my daughter would never do something so dangerous. Your son could of had an allergy that those girls didn't know of. Thanks for put food for thought on our table:)

Kim's Korner said...

Tanyia, Michael & Monique - Hi, thanks for stopping by! However you managed to get here, I'm glad you did so :-)

Feel free to drop back any time!

Tanyia - I think there were alot of things that upset him about the whole situation, but yes, I think the betrayal from friends had to be close to top of the list. And yeah, I'm absolutely a proud Mama in ths case :-D

I'll always stand behind my kids. But I won't help them run away from a punishment if they deserve it, I'll stand right behind them while they take it ;-)

Michael - Well, to be honest, I'm not sure if it was one of the pre-mixed drinks you can buy in the bottles, or if they pre-mixed it themselves. I can't say for sure.

Far as I'm concerned, alcohol is alcohol, is alcohol... ya know?

Monique - HI! I absolutely remember you from our 'growing up' years :-) Welcome to the Korner!

Yup, as a single mom the second guessing is always there, right after having made the decision/choice lol.

The allergy thing crossed my mind too. I know there was no harm intended, but there's always that ONE freaky situation that goes against the norm.

Thankfully, it all turned out well. Everyone has moved on, and I dare say, maybe lessons have even been learned ;-)

Thanks everyone for the great encouragement!

Kenya said...

Hi Proud Mom. In from SITS.

That was a potentially dangerous situation. I'm glad that it was only alcohol. I'm sure your son will remember the lesson...people (or things) aren't always what they seem.

Great post. Thanks for sharing. I think I might just have a little conversation with mt kids tomorrow morning about this.

Sarah With Scissors said...

1st off... clearly you've done a phenomenal job in raising your kid. 2ndly... the fact you are able to joke with him about the incident is going to solidify the experience and make sure he does the same thing. A similar thing happened to me as a kid and my mom had the same reaction initially, and also, to this day teases me about it. But it was an inside joke that could be said anytime and I knew it meant she was super proud... without having to be all stupid mushy. It was also a reminder to do the right thing again or that joke would be my ass getting handed to me next time. 15 years later we still use the joke. This story reminded me so much of my own mom... okay... now I feel like crying because I'm so proud of her, and YOU, for being another awesome mom.

Nick, Ali and Kendall said...

Happy SITS day! I am loving your blog! Super cute and I love your writing! Reading this makes me even more nervous for my little girl to grow up and experience life! I hope I can teach her and prepare her for all the scary decisions we make throughout our lives!
Way to go with your boys! Your definitely doing something right! :)

Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen said...

He sounds like a great kid. Let me tell you when I was 13 there wasn't too many people in my school (especially boys) who would have done what your son did. Good for him, it was probably really tough on him!

Julie said...

Congrats on your SITS day and on raising a wonderful son. I have two little kids (3 and 1) and the thought that they will grow up to be teenagers scares the life out of me. Your post is encouraging. I hope my son will grow up to be as courageous as your son!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so not going to be ready for this. Let's hope my two year old get the strong foundation your son has. My husband and I are working on it.

gamommy2two said...

Good job Alec! I can only hope that my children have that kind of self-respect and grasp on right and wrong when they are his age.

Donnetta said...

This made ME cry! What an awesome kid!

I taught middle school for 8 years. Sadly, I'm never surprised at what kids do today. It is insane how much they know and how few filters they have.

Have a great SITS day!

Brenda said...

Happy SITS Day! I am so amazed at your son! You have obviously done a great job at communication and building a trusting relationship with him. Very impressive, esp to risk his friendship to do what was right.

As Mo'nique said the other night, the people who love us, truly love us, encourage us not to do the popular thing, but to do the right thing.

The Green Family said...

Not gonna're scaring the SH*T outta me for when my boys go to school.

If I wasn't sure I'd totally screw their brains up, I'd home school.

I thought you handled that VERY well and I'm sure I wouldn't be so composed..but now from this example I have something to reference if and when (God help me) it ever happens!

I've been around a lot of corners (not in the prostitute way) and I think your's is GREAT!!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

You can absolutely take pride that you've done a great job raising your son. He sounds like a great kid! :)

AmericanTribal said...


I was actually in suspense throughout this entire post. It was really well written. More than that, there was a definite message behind it and *I* (a woman who has never met you or your son) am proud of your boy :). I know you are too... but I just thought I should mention that. He sounds like he has a WONDERFUL head on his shoulders.

Jen said...

I would have been so pissed at those girls. Good for your son who did the right thing when a lot would have done the wrong thing. You did well!

Also, good for the school teachers who didn't turn on him. That doesn't always happen.

Eva Gallant said...

What a good job you're doing, Mom!
Just stopped by from SITS. Enjoy you're day in the sun!

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

Wow, Kim. You must be an AWESOME mom to raise a kid like that. I am so impressed!

Marie Cole said...

Yep, it sounds like you are raising him right, good job. :)

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

Wow, it sounds like you have clearly done a great job with Alec, for him to have handled the situation so well at just 13. I just can't believe that this kind of thing is happening at 13. 13! Wow. Can my son just stay 2 forever? Happy SITS Day to you again, I'm really enjoying your blog!

Kim said...

Oh Kim, I can only imagine how proud you are of you wonderful son. You are doing something right. My guess is, you are doing alot of things right. May it be a lesson to us all, especially those of us with 14 me.

Julie said...

Stopping by from Sits. I would have cried too and been outraged. I know the day is not too far off for when my children will be exposed to such things at school. I had an acquaintance I rode the bus with every day to school and he would dump coke out of a can and re fill it with beer and drink it on his way to school.How sad and all I can think are where are his parents?
You raised your son right. Keep up the strong work.

Ms. LaPointe said...

Not only am I proud of your kid, but as a high school teacher who has seen the way schools operate, I'm proud of how your school handled the situation.

So many schools would have punished him according to a 'no tolerance' policy. I'm glad your school is wise enough to treat situations on an individual basis!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Nice job, mom! You should pat yourself on the back and allow yourself a few of those tears! Your son did the right thing. Whooo-eeee! that is reason to celebrate in my book. :)

mama of 4 said...

Oh wow.. You just brought tears to my eyes.. You have a great son and a great school. I can only hope that I have done half as well parenting my 4 little ones.. I may have to look here for advice on my 9 year old boy!
And by the way the "lay off the booze today" made me LOL too !

Sabreena said...

Congratulations for raising such a respectful and intelligent child. It's hard to raise kids and I understand how happy you are about the outside confirmation of what a great job you're doing. We all need to hear it sometimes.

Kristin @ Meanbean said...

wow....I have to say, if I'd been in that situation at 14, I don't know that I'd have been strong enough to do what your boy did. GOOD JOB for both of you. Mission accomplished indeed!

Jesslyn said...

There are so few boys left in the world willing to stand up and be men... especially when they're still boys. Hope that made sense. Your kid is a stud! And you can tell him I said so.

Happy SITS Day!

Carrie said...

That is awesome! You've done a great job with your son.

I hope I don't have to deal with that when my girls are older...oh who am I kidding, of COURSE I will, it's the nature of high school.

Sigh...I have at least 14 years to prepare thank goodness

Aleta said...

Clearly you are a fantastic Mom. You have raised your son to do the right thing. Kudos to him for his brave actions and taking responsibility.

gina said...

yikes. it's so tough- but it sounds like you are mananging. for me this only the beginning (mine are 15-5) it's the next 20 years of dealing with teens- what was i thinking?!??

simplysandi said...

Stopping by from SITS. I feel mad, sad, happy all at the same time. My son is 23 now, but I hope he would have handled something like that as well as your son did.

Joann Mannix said...

I am so sorry for your boy. I am disturbed by this and I'm just meeting you through this computer screen. And yes, the most disturbing thing was that his FRIENDS did that to him. You have a good man in the making, there. You have every right to be proud.

Leiah said...

I'm sorry that happened to your young man but aren't those moments of validation so nurturing to our souls? The acknowledgment that even though we may be single moms we're doing something right and that is raising responsible, respected children. Kudos to you SITS Queen for a Day!