Wine and Trouble; the Field Trip

(The Armchair Sommelier has challenged us with the topic of trouble in the monthly wine challenge. This is my submission. )

The Field Trip

The Field Trip

The school bus rolled along as comfortably as school buses roll, with its torn vinyl seats, each holding two or three fifth graders excitedly anticipating the annual trip to the courthouse, unaware or unconcerned with how loudly their voices carried, one little boy’s more than the others, in a voice so loud and clear, he could not be ignored, nor could he be mistaken for having said something else, as the bus stopped for a red light, and all other voices seemed to diminish in volume. We all on the bus, myself, the other chaperones, all the children and Ms. Bronk the classroom teacher sitting behind me, all of us heard his words ring out in that moment of stillness, “Bob’s Mom says it’s fun to get drunk!”  Yes, I’m Bob’s Mom.  I felt Ms. Bronk’s eyes bearing into my skull as I sat there stunned, my mind racing trying to piece together why little Preston had said that, all the while smiling feebly at Ms. Bronk, and looking questioningly at Preston.  Then I remembered a conversation I’d had with my 10 year old son a few weeks earlier when he asked me why anyone would ever become addicted to alcohol.  “Maybe,” I answered, “he has a few glasses of wine with dinner, he feels light-headed and happy.  He thinks its fun so he does that a few more times.  Before he knows it, he’s hooked, drinking every night, waking up with horrible headaches, he becomes cranky and disorganized at work and can’t hold onto his job.  Then his wife divorces him.  But he’s so addicted to alcohol, he can’t quit drinking.  And so his life is ruined.  Remember, son,” I conclude, being the good and conscientious mother that I am, “everything in moderation.”  In my son’s mind my dramatic moral lesson boiled down to the simple phrase, “It’s fun to get drunk.” 

Now, my son is 17.  I don’t know that our communication has improved much in the past 7 years, or perhaps Bob is just having his fun.  On Monday my CSW certificate came in the mail.  He must be very proud of me, because he includes that information in his introductions of me to his friends, “This is my Mom.  She’s really into alcohol.”