As I’m now a couple of decades removed from high school, it’s probably safe for me to admit that I threw my fair share (or more) of parties. (It’s mostly safe because my parents sometimes have trouble navigating the Internet and I’m pretty confident they don’t read anything I write unless I send them a link.)
They went away a lot on weekends when I was in high school, leaving me home alone after my older sister went away to college.
Big mistake. Huge.
I was not to be trusted. The second my folks left, all hell broke loose. On the off chance my mom is doing some online browsing at 3 am, I’ll just leave it at that. However, I can say I was savvy enough to have everything back in place and smelling like Lysol when they returned on Sunday afternoons. The cops were never called — or at least they never wrote up a report or a ticket. I’m not (too) proud of it, but it’s what it is.
My parents aren’t dumb, but I was just that much smarter (or sneakier). They probably knew I would be up to some amount of no good. They just had no idea, really, how much wrongdoing I was capable of. If I were them, I never would have left me home alone.
I’m glad, however, that all’s well that ended well. And I mean that even more after reading that angry parents in Glastonbury, Conn., called the cops earlier this month to arrest their own daughters after coming home early from a vacation to find them drunk in the midst of a raging house party.
According to the New York Daily News, the 15- and 16-year old girls didn’t know their parents were returning a day ahead of schedule and had 20-30 alcohol-drinking friends at their house. When the parents saw what was going on, they called the cops, who arrived and arrested the kids who hadn’t fled the scene, including the underage party hosts. It was reportedly the third night in a row the teen girls had thrown a raucous soirée.
I’m not saying those girls didn’t deserve to be punished, but calling the cops on your own kids? Before looking in the mirror and asking yourself if you really should have left them home alone in the first place?
My husband and I often remark to each other how badly we feel for our kids. Because of how we acted in our younger days, there’s little chance parties will be thrown in our absence. Because our kids won’t be left behind in our absence. Because we know. We just know.
And if something does happen? I think WE deserve the arrest, not our kids. How do parents of kids who throw parties three nights in a row not have suspicions about their kids? My parents knew I was no angel, but they surmised that I was smart enough to ensure a certain level of decorum in their absence. I’m going to guess that girls dumb enough to throw a 72-hour boondoggle have parents who must have known the angels on their kids’ shoulders are a lot quieter than the devils. Case in point: Coming home a day early without telling them. If you know you’re going to find something bad, why leave and let it happen in the first place. That seems criminal to me.
Teen brains are a work in progress. As smart and sophisticated as any teen seems, there’s really and truly only so much that they’re capable of — especially as it applies to making good decisions. Ground your kids. Take away their cars and iPhones. Disable their Instagram and Ask.fm accounts. But have them arrested because YOU left them home alone?
Sounds like someone has issues, but it’s not the kids.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
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