When the kids were smaller my biggest fears was that they would get washed out to sea. One minute you would be watching all the kids, doing the regular head count to make sure they were all there. Then all of a sudden you would be missing one or more of them. You would scan the water to make sure they hadn’t been pulled out, then you would look up to the house to see if they had gone back up without you noticing. Inevitably you would need to make the trek up to the house to calm your fears and just make double sure that they were ok. We’ve had to make a few rescues when the rip tide or under current has pulled out a weaker swimmer but never anything too serious.
Who knew that the biggest danger would be when they were young adults and had just enough freedom to get them into trouble. Last night Daniel was in a downstairs bedroom with his cousins that are 22, almost 21 and a friend that is in her 20’s, drinking beer and playing cards. We had talked to Daniel about his behavior on this vacation and how he is NOT still living in the dorms so he does NOT need to be getting drunk and obnoxious. We were ok with some moderate drinking, he was warned not to be drinking other people’s alcohol and that he needs to be aware of all the younger children in the house. I had hopes that this would not be a problem, but I was not so naive to think it would all go by without any issues.
It never occurred to me that the issue would be the four young adults driving after they had been drinking. We have always stressed to Daniel to never drink and drive, that we would always come pick him up at any time or place if he had been drinking and needed a ride home. But apparently when his older cousin was able to drive to buy more beer he didn’t think about the dangers of drinking and driving. Luckily, they all made it home safely and no one was hurt. But I am still shaken by the incident. I can’t help but think about all the possible outcomes. And I can’t help but be furious with all of them for being so completely stupid. Everyone makes mistakes and I have done plenty of regrettable things in my past so I can empathize with their stupidity. But it is my job to make Daniel aware of the ramifications of his actions. One reckless mistake could completely change his entire life. He has to be able to look past the moment and understand what could happen. That’s a gargantuan task to put on a 19 year old, but one that he needs to take seriously. Now I just need to figure out how to make him realize that.