Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Drunken Awakening

By , Hinsdale, IL
I was brought up by my parents to show a lot of respect for adults. I was taught to think that my parents were always right. If something I said or thought didn’t quite match up with whatever the adult had in mind, I automatically believed I was wrong. Most of the time, my parents ended up being correct. They had the greater age, more life experiences; more credibility. In my eyes, they knew it all. I thought this way until an occurrence with my father, about two and a half years ago.

I was in fifth grade, getting smarter and making more inferences. This was at the the age I started to form my own opinions. I didn’t think that there was anything that my parents could really lie about to me. I had figured that Santa wasn’t real, but was empathetic towards my parents because the idea of Santa had made my childhood very fun. I was in the highest grade of elementary school and I was sure that everything my parents told me was one hundred percent accurate and that everything they did was right in every way.

One Friday night, my dad came home early and we headed over to a family friend’s house for dinner. The kids played in the basement, coming up occasionally to the adults for snacks. Upstairs the adults were sitting around, drinking and chatting loudly in the living room, your average weekend get together. Until ten o clock, we stayed. When it was time to go, my father meandered down the basement staircase to collect us.

As we got to the car to leave, there was something different in his nature. His words came out of his mouth oddly, his speech strung together sloppily. The way he walked eerily resembled the strut of a lame pigeon, for he stumbled on even the perfectly paved sidewalk. He was definitely drunk and that was an odd thought for me, because my father was always the one who knew more than us kids and we listened to him. But when he was drunk, he was the vulnerable one.

My father is not an alcoholic; and he has no drinking problems of any sort, but the reason this event was significant to me, was because it was the first time that I realized that my parents don’t always make the right decisions (My mom was driving home and she was sober. No drunk driving.) I was opened up to the fact that my parents too, have the capacity to go wrong.

My dad made the decision to drink too much and though it wasn’t too bad because he didn’t need to drive home, it was not a good choice. That event hit my mind and I began to see my parents-and all adults for that matter, as real people. I was awakened to their faults. Whether this is good or bad, from then on, I challenged what they had to say. For every grade I was unsure of, I questioned the teacher. And I wasn’t afraid to ask why things were certain ways. Those were results of my perception that the adults in my life made mistakes as well as I did.

When I grow older and have children of my own, I will bring my kids up knowing that their parents are going to be mistaken, it’s only human. I will give them freedom to question me and their teachers. When we are never allowed to find faults in something, we cannot make it better and we may be too shocked when someone suddenly makes a big mistake.

For the sake of future minds, please encourage the idea that everyone messes up sometimes. As I learned from an experience in fifth grade, parents and adults in authority don’t always make the right choices and have the correct judgement, so be aware. Ask questions and read into the actions of people. How shocked my father could be to learn how much I took away from the first instance I saw him at fault.



Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

megbug5 said...
today at 10:50 pm:
great job julia!!! I love your work!!! <<<<<<<3
 
Juuulia replied...
today at 11:33 pm :
thanks. i love YOU
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback