Wednesday, June 28, 2006

10 Foot Tall and Bullet Proof?

I knew I was going to allow the boys to drink alcohol on Saturday night. They were amongst a group of responsible adults they both trusted, so there were plenty of us to keep an eye on what could happen. Ryan was drinking beer at a great rate of knots...Cameron, who dislikes beer, was drinking spirits and coke. Ryan knew he only had a small amount of time there...he'd worked earlier that evening at KFC and I had given him instructions that he was to get some grease in his stomach in case he decided to have a drink or two (hence the chicken bits involved in my previous post).

Cameron was working the following morning at 6am....so we arrived early...Dad picked up Ryan from work and arrived at 8.45pm. I think Ryan made it his business to down as much as possible in the small window of opportunity he had. By 10.15 Cameron was telling me (as opposed to his usual asking) that we were going to be leaving shortly. Credit going to where it's due, Cameron is always very careful about what he gets up to, and how late he stays up the night before work.

Cameron probably drank as much, if not more than Ryan, but you'd not have known it so much. Cameron is tall and broad for his age, he's over 6 feet and weighs in at 90+ kilos. Still, he was in one of those merry, happy, kinda drunk moods...and more importantly he wasn't having trouble walking. I say that because I can't imagine how I could've possibly got Cam up to the house, were he in the same state as Ryan. And probably fighting me off all the way with "I can do it myself!"

Ryan is only about 60 kilos, he's of a much smaller build than his older brother, and approx 5'4". I could see Ryan was starting to wobble about a bit just sitting down. Standing up and walking appeared ok at first. He then announced he needed to go to the toilet..with Alice and I holding onto either side of him and realising he was trying to head for the downstairs loo...we both took one look at the steps and in chorus said "The upstairs one eh?" He was in there for a rather long time, the 3 of us (Alice, his father and I) standing vigil outside the door.

A plus for me that night, was seeing the look of concern on his father's face. He was definitely worried about his son. I really didn't expect him to be slapping him on the back and saying proudly "That's my boy!"...but even so, it reassured me to see that he was just as concerned as I was.

Getting Ryan outside and the fresh air was a different challenge altogther. Candice (Alice's 16 yr old daughter) managed to get Ryan into the back of the car, after having him lean all over her and wrap his arms around her announcing to yet another person that he loved them. She put his seatbelt on...to have him fling it off again. She was thoroughly enjoying the events, Ryan was making her laugh so hard she was snorting. Finally having him belted in, and giving him an old plastic shopping bag in case of anything 'escaping', I drove off wondering what the hell I'd just allowed to happen.

Halfway home, in amongst his babble about texting his mate to tell him he was "wasted", he started hiccuping. That's when I knew if it didn't happen in the car, it was going to happen at some stage later on...I just wanted to get him home and out of the car before the upchuck came about. Lord knows how he thought he was going to be able to text anyone considering the shape he was in.

Safely home without incident, Cameron was out of the car and up the stairs at the door waiting for us, while I was busy trying to get Ryan up the steps outside the garage. He lurched forward and I thought he was going to do a face plant, thankfully his hands came out and stopped that from happening. He got up those steps on his hands and feet...the slight incline of the grassy verge to the house was like trying to get someone up Mount Everest.

That finally accomplished we had to start on the house steps...he clung to the railing as I helped steer him from behind. When we got to the top of those steps, he was still clinging to the railing....the railing on my balcony is less than desirable...the last thing I needed was for him to fall through and down about 12 feet. That freaked me out big time. I virtually threw him against the side of the house in desperation to avoid it ocurring. Poor bugger..it's amazing he didn't wake the following day with bruises all over his body, from the way I was grabbing at him for fear of him constantly losing his balance.

After getting Ryan settled, I asked Cameron if he was ok. He replied "No, but I'll be ok by the morning." After the amount he had drunk that evening, his eyesight was out of focus apparently...yeah, we know what that's like eh? And what's more, he didn't like it one bit. He didn't like feeling that he didn't have complete control over what was going on with him and around him. After his initial intolerance of the way his younger brother was acting, and me asking him why he's able to cope with it better when his mates sometimes get to that stage, he became more understanding and helped out.

After all the writing I've done on here several months ago about when should I introduce alcohol into my teenagers' lives and how much and blah blah blah, I took a punt and let it happen. I know some of their mates are getting hammered and didn't want either of them to do that without a parent around if it got that far. This experience won't stop me from allowing them to drink, but it won't be happening at the same rate or with the same result if I can stop it. Both are still under the legal drinking age, both finding out what they can and can't cope with. It's our job as parents to help them discover this and be around if they mess up...as it is in any aspect of their lives.

This Friday evening Cameron will be attending his college Prom...he's also going to the after-prom party at a friend's house around the corner. There will be alcohol, and he said he will text me when he's ready to come home. This will be at some unsavoury hour of the morning, but his father and I will always be prepared to get to where we need to be for our boys. Just as any parent would.

After dealing with Ryan last weekend, I'm thinking, when that text comes in from Cameron in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I'll be firing one back asking "Am I going to need your father's help?" Because if my oldest son is having trouble even the slightest bit with walking, I'm definitely going to need the extra help. Either that or he'll end up sleeping it off in the car lol

I don't think I've ever questioned my parenting skills so much as I have in the past 18 months. Yep, it can be a scary life being the mother of teenagers.

Someone pass me a kevlar vest.
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