My son Zach and his friends survived last night’s post-prom festivities and are just about done with their high school daze. My years as a parent has taught me many lessons and here is one of them that I like to call “As Far As You Know.”
I want all parents to repeat after me…”as far as you know.” Did you repeat it? Just for emphasis, say it again…”as far as you know.” Now, every time one of your friends tells you “oh my child would never do that,” just look at them and say “as far as you know.” Or you can turn the tables on yourself and say “as far as I know” which I often do.
I sometimes think parents walk around with their heads in the sand or swimming through the long river in Egypt….De Nile. If you are away for the weekend than the party is at your house. I know that from personal experience of raising two children. I’m not proud of it, it’s just the way things are. It amazes me that I know parents whose kids were at my house during these times and they walk around saying “oh my child would never do that.” Really? Did you enjoy your swim in De Nile? What exactly do you think is in those red cups that abound at every party in town?
Here’s the classic. Many years ago, we were out celebrating a friends 4oth birthday in NYC. During the limo ride, one of the other guests kept telling everyone about her perfect daughter (which we all knew not to be true), how her child was so innocent, how she should have never raised her children “here” and yada yada yada. After dinner, we decide to go to a club. Just as we are about to head into the club, the birthday boy’s daughter calls to tell us that the Miss Perfect Innocent Daughter got shit-faced and is puking her brains out. Congratulations, clueless in suburbia has a new poster mother.
Listen, I remember my HS and college daze extremely well. I know what my friends and I did, and I know what my friends and I got away with. To think that kids today aren’t doing the same thing just because you think you are more “aware” than your parents were, just proves how unaware people really are.
Growing up is all about experimentation, trial and error, finding your equilibrium in this world, when you are sober and when you are not. It’s staring out at the abyss…backing off, falling in or puking in it and learning to appreciate how nice and cool it is when you are curled up next to it.
And yes I know, your kids tell you everything because you are such a good parent or an involved parent or a cool parent or you know so much more than your parents did. Well, if you think your kids tell you everything because you are whatever makes you a good parent (and you probably are a really good parent), I have one thing to say to you…”as far as you know.”