A few days before New Year’s Eve I thought to myself maybe the kids and I could toast to the new year at midnight. I’d get some bubbly Prosecco and they’d have their sparkling grape juice. In the end I never opened my bottle at all; it’s still in the fridge, waiting for some time in the future when I might share it with friends. The kids sipped their juice and did a better job at staying awake than I.
Aside from entertaining, I don’t usually have alcohol in the house. I will drink wine when I go to dinner with other adults sometimes, but it’s not something I think about at home for some reason. The kids are aware of alcohol, in that if they know they aren’t supposed to taste it, and have been around my family when beer and wine have been served, but until recently our conversations about alcohol mainly revolved around making sure they understood they weren’t to touch or drink any until they were grown ups.
As we headed into the liquor section at Costco to find the Prosecco before New Year’s Isla asked me, “Remind me again why kids can’t have alcohol?”
So I went into what alcohol does to a person – explained it can make people feel very sick if they drink too much, make them walk and talk funny, cause them to have trouble making the right choices. I told them that only adults were able to understand when they’d had too much to drink, and it was important for grown ups to be aware of that because it was dangerous and illegal to drive a car if they became intoxicated. I said that in extreme cases people died because too much alcohol in their systems was like poison and could kill.
“Wow,” Isla said, her eyes wide. “I wonder why they even make products like that?