Last night my almost 15 year old daughter went to a sleepover. The place where they were supposed to be staying was cramped and there wasn’t anywhere to sleep. So, at just after midnight my daughter and her friend called a taxi and went to the friend’s house and stayed there. She sent me a text saying she was safe at about 1.00am but I had my phone on silent. She also said that her friend’s Mum had been in the taxi. She didn’t call the house. The first I knew was at 5.20am when I woke and checked my phone.
Then I saw some Instagram messages pinging up on my other daughter’s phone and it pretty quickly became clear that there had been drinking at the party and some of the girls had been up all night being sick.
I called my daughter and asked her whether there had been alcohol – she said yes. Had she had anything to drink? She said no. I felt relieved she sounded OK and she was safe.
When I picked her up I asked her some more questions. It turned out that her friend’s Mum hadn’t been in the taxi. “I didn’t want to worry you” she said. I explained that anything could have happened and I would not have had any idea where she was. How could I explain to the police that I thought my daughter was at a sleepover when actually she was in a taxi somewhere across the city ? What would have happened if she had been raped or murdered ? I think she got the point. I was so calm and so measured – I think she understood.
I repeated the questions about drinking. What had they been drinking ? Vodka. Had she had any? A bit. How much ? A shot glass with 90% orange juice and 10% vodka. I thanked her for being honest. “I thought you’d be cross” she said. She acknowledged I did not seem cross. Just concerned but relieved.
I keep thinking of all the what ifs, of all the things which could have happened but fortunately didn’t. Most of all though I am finding it hard to handle the thought of her drinking. For most people drinking is fine. It’s normal for teenagers to experiment.
I remember the first time I got drunk when I was about fifteen. Even then I didn’t have a very normal relationship with alcohol. Its always been a bit of a thing for me. What if my daughter ends up like me ?
I really don’t want that for her.