my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Monday, April 13, 2009

Listening to that gut instinct

A few Saturdays, a friend of G's invited him to go to the Family Swim time at the Oakland Y with his dad. There was some miscommunication over whether I'd drop G off at D's house, D and his dad would pick G up, and finally we settled on my bringing G to the YMCA and meeting them there, and D's dad would bring him home.

We got there right on time and D and his dad arrived quite soon. I paid for G (that part was unclear, too) and D's dad said he needed to add money to the meter. Odd, because they'd just arrived. When he returned, he reiterated that he'd bring G home... and his breath smelled weird. He's been having hard times lately, I know, so it's possible he's relying on alcohol for comfort.

I left, feeling very mixed.

Family Swim was 2 hours, which initially seemed like a lovely span of time in which to do things. In reality, I went home and did hardly anything, and then finally decided I'd pick G up. I thought of leaving a sign on the front door in case I missed them, saying I'd be there soon, but totally forgot in my agitation. I waited in the lobby of the YMCA for about 20 minutes, knitting nervously, and they finally emerged. D's dad was completely comfortable with it, which is good, because I didn't want to have to say, "I'm concerned that you have alcohol in your car" or something.

And in the end? I'm really glad I listened to my gut. I wish I'd thought fast enough to say at the drop-off that I'd just be back to pick him up, but am so glad it worked out well.

And the other side of the coin...

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet up with an out-of-town friend and some others for drinks at a nice pub in Berkeley. I asked some friends, one of whom is a recovering alcoholic, to watch G. I ended up having 3 drinks over the visit (maybe 3 hours), which is too much for me. I called the friends to say I was on my way back, and felt very much in that middle area between "I'm fine" and "I have to concentrate to maintain." The friend, when I arrived, made a big pretense of wanting to make us all Italian coffees with her new espresso machine. I stayed and drank my latte and chatted, and when we left, I was definitely fine to drive. It wasn't really until later that I realized what the friend had done: make time for me to sober up completely so that my son was safe. Thanks, R, for that kindness. I remember that lesson to this day.


At 9:18 AM, May 04, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've missed your blog! good to see you back



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