Last month I attended my first blogger’s conference. BlogU was a completely amazing time, and a truly life changing experience.
Just the fact that I had traveled on a plane, to a foreign place and was actively anticipating spending two whole days without my children, was in itself nothing short of a miracle. I looked forward to learning all the things and meeting all the faceless people I’ve been talking to on the internet for so long. The first day was a whirlwind. Between traveling and unpacking, attending classes and getting my bearings, I was ready to unwind and relax.
For the evening activity, the organizers held a pep rally. I got the joke. Blog University, a pep rally. Cute. Cichy. Upon check-in that morning we received two drink tickets for the evening’s event. My first thought, “Um, two drink tickets isn’t going to cut it.” And it didn’t. At least not for me.
The room was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. We listened to loads of different speakers: faculty introductions, conference attendees who were writing contest winners, words from the conference sponsors. I sat and listened, reminding myself to take baby sips of my rationed chardonnay rather than the huge gulps I would have normal swallowed in an unfamiliar situation where my children were thousands of miles away. The next speaker began informing the group of a writing contest. Money? The collective ears of the conference perked up. She had our attention, and then we were shown this video.
My first thought, “This has got to be a joke.” You could have driven a semi-truck through the gaping hole that was my jaw dropped-mouth. I slugged the last of my wine. So, here we were, in a situation tantamount to being on a child-free vacation, and Responsibility.org (The Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility) was challenging the room to #RefreshYourFunny. Basically, they want the mom blogging community to stop using alcohol as a punchline and to realize that our children are learning from our example.
Of course we know they are watching us. They are with us all the time. We can’t even go to the bathroom by ourselves. But, to suggest that underage drinking exists because I make funny meme’s about wine on the internet, to other adults, is preposterous. They want us to #TalkEarly to our kids about drinking. Which we do. And drinking alcohol falls under the “I’m an adult and I can legally do it” category. Other topics in this category are: driving a car, voting, owning a gun, reading erotica, chewing gum whenever I want, and picking the radio station in the car. My kids have a very real concept of the things I get to legally chose to do, because of my age. And they also understand that with those choices comes the shitty existence of adult responsibility. I will pay the bills, feed you, make sure you have clothes on your back, water in your cup and Minecraft. All the stuff that they are not equipped to do, yet. Last I checked, underage drinking was a huge problem way before blogging was even a thing. Before Facebook. Before Twitter. Before I was born, before every beer commercial ended with a voice saying, “Drink responsibly.”
Yes, I drink alcohol. Yes, I make jokes about drinking on the internet. Yes, I have 3 beautiful sons who make my sanity teeter totter on the brink of euphoria and misery. One day it’s going to be up to them to make serious decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. They might not always get it right, but they will know that they can tell their parents anything. That they can call us from anywhere, under any circumstances, and while there might be ramifications for their bad decisions, there will always be unconditional love.
And maybe, watching me drink responsibly, knowing that I will never get behind the wheel of a car when I have touched a drop of alcohol will save their life someday when they eventually do something stupid. Because that’s part of growing up, isn’t it? Making mistakes and learning from them.
I don’t really think I need to refresh my funny. How about you refresh my drink?
I’m submitting this piece for a writing contest sponsored by Responsibility.org. I’m not being compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own, just like everything else on my blog.