Monday, March 17, 2014

A Beer

“I’m still not happy with you,” Alyssa informed her father yesterday afternoon as she and Olivia and I were heading to the car to go to my mom’s for an afternoon of television watching and visiting.

It took me a minute to remember why she wasn’t happy with her dad.

Ah yes, it was because she’d seen him drink some beer the night before at a birthday party for Tom’s oldest son, who happened to be turning 30.

Alyssa had never seen either of us drink any sort of alcohol and the sight of her dad drinking a cup of beer really irritated her. She knows that alcohol is not good for you. She’s been told in school that it’s a bad habit to start and so seeing her dad do something she knows in her very sweet, sanctimonious little soul is wrong just really got to her.

I tried to explain to her that at 53, it really was okay for her dad to have a cup or two of beer. That the very fact that she’d never seen him drink before was a good thing but it really wasn’t that big a deal that he was having a cup that night.

She informed me haughtily, “I am not getting in our car if he’s driving us home.”

I told her I would, of course, be driving us the hour and a half home from the party that night. That appeased her wounded heart.

This girl…she’s so much like her mom. That would be me for anyone not paying attention. I wasn’t a drinker. I’m still not much of one except once a year, I might have something while away from home for a weekend. But even then, maybe not.

But when I was younger, as in Alyssa age and even in high school? I had very strong opinions about alcohol. It was illegal for anyone under 21 to drink and so I wasn’t going to do so. And I didn’t think anyone else should either. Everyone around me knew my thoughts on this subject because I strenuously shared this opinion with anyone within hearing distance.

Honestly, I hope Alyssa maintains this stance for many years to come. I hope she continues to view alcohol as a bad thing, as something to avoid. I hope she also maintains her convictions and her strength in sharing those convictions. I love that she has a strong opinion and isn’t afraid to share it, even with her dad.

At one point in the evening Tom and I were standing with his younger son and Tom’s ex-wife. Alyssa happened to walk past and mutter something about Tom being drunk.

Everyone laughed because, well, it’s laughable. Tom has never been drunk in all the years I’ve known him. Even is ex-wife admitted that in all her years of knowing him, she’s never seen him drunk either.

I explained Alyssa’s views on imbibing and Tom’s ex whispered to my sweet, opinionated girl, “Your daddy doesn’t deserve a daughter like you.”

To be honest, Alyssa couldn’t be more different from her big sister, the daughter Tom shares with his ex. J is doing amazing things with her life these days but there were months, years even, when we all worried about whether or not she’d survive the life she was living.

I pray that Alyssa continues on her straight and narrow road. She’s a good girl, something I am constantly reminding Tom about. She’s strong, she’s smart, she’s sure of herself and if she’s a little sassy to her dad? Well, where do you think she learned that sass? It wasn’t from me, is what I’m saying.

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