Northwest NEWS

April 15, 2002


To parents who like to be pals:

Having a son in high school, I know how difficult it is to keep the lines of communication open, how tough the challenge is to indicate your love while at the same time, parent them toward becoming fine young men and women.
   Some parents believe that being a "pal" to their child, and being a "cool" parent to them and their friends proves their love. I have heard on more than one occasion of adults (parents, relatives) buying alcohol for my son's friends. Am I naive to think that our son isn't drinking?
   I want to make my feelings very clear in this matter. If your child is killed due to an alcohol-related accident and it is proven that you provided the alcohol, I will attend your child's funeral out of respect for a young man or women who wasn't guided by love, but by a desire to be accepted.
   If I have to attend my son's funeral or keep vigil by his hospital bed for days, weeks, months or years because of alcohol you provided, I will abide by the law, seek the best council I can and sue you for everything you have materially, and everything you can emotionally withstand.
   If you're so willing to jeopardize your child and my child's life, then you must also be willing to uphold the laws made for our children's protection, tell me how much you cared for my son, tell me that you would do anything to change what happened. It's your choice to be a "pal" or be a parent.
   I want my child to take risks in life: climb mountains, jump from an airplane, ski, snowboard, water ski, anything that offers a physical or mental challenge. Whatever he chooses to do, I'm going to make sure he's appropriately prepared for the risk involved.
   What are you doing to prepare your children when you hand them a case of beer or look the other way when you know underage drinking is occurring in your home?
   You're taking one of life's greatest risks and there's no bravery involved at all. I consider you weak, a liar, hypocrite and worst of all, an uncaring, unloving parent.
   The legal drinking age is 21. I pray for both of us that you and I meet only under the best of circumstances.
   A loving (uncool) parent
   Name withheld by request