I am inspired to write about alcohol because I offered my kids some Breezer tonight. Before you all fall back and faint, and get ready to call child protection services.... let me assure you that I don't do this often! Tonight I was half hoping that the alcohol would kill the virus that has been plaguing Marinda ;-)
There's a more relaxed attitude to alcohol here than there is in the States (as far as my knowledge of the States goes anyways). I remember that it was a big no no in all the american churches we went to and that the churches were expert at explaining that the Jesus turned water into wine story was really a Jesus turning water into grape juice story. In a lot of churches here real wine is offered at communion, and church social gatherings offer beer and wine as beverage choices. I grew up with wine, beer, and even a pipe smoking dad (he doesn't smoke anymore)! Not that I drank a lot, I still don't. I have actually never been drunk, which has caused some people I know look at me with something that approaches awe and perhaps even dismay.
But to come back to the Breezer... I figure it's better to let the kids find out that drinking alcohol can be a part of a normal social life, and it's not to be reserved for huge drunken binges. So they have been offered tastes every now and again. Marinda will be eligible to buy her own alcohol in a couple of months (yes, months, not years! Alcohol is available here from 16 years of age). I have no idea how she will handle alcohol when/if she starts going out and it's readily available. Somehow I don't see her losing control of herself while drinking a lot. But you never know! It can be surprising what kids get up to when you're not around.

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