Questionable parenting -- the highlights

2007-05-27 - 5:09 p.m.

Oh, also, last night we let N go to a rave. Worse, we let her drive there.

Bad parenting at its finest.

But we have had several conversations about the whole thing -- the drugs, driving at night, the drugs, why would you want to go someplace whose whole purpose is to be a place where people take mindaltering drugs ...

According to N, it is exciting even if you don't take drugs. Lots of people do take drugs, but she would not. If she went to a million raves, she would never be interested in the drugs.

I want to believe her. I actually sort of do believe her, although I'm sure it's possible that I shouldn't. Also, I do thing that the more often she goes to these things, the more likely it is that she will eventually succumb, so I try to make it difficult. But the truth of the matter is, if she really wanted to she could go to the park across the street, during school hours, and take drugs, and no one would do a thing about it.

She says she likes that there are so many people, and they're so late, and the dancing.

And the two times she hasn't driven, I've picked her up, and she has not seemed addled. And last night she drove, and I actually do believe that she would not do anything and then drive.

She has, and always has had, in fact, a pretty strong drive for independence. And not just independence, but a sort of worldly competence. Generally, these seem like good attributes, so I don't want to completely discourage them.

Also, she's 17. If we'd sent her to school ahead (her birthday is a week before the deadline, and we waited an extra year before sending her to kindergarten) she would be in college now, where we would have no idea what she was up to.

So -- we let her drive to this rave, and she called when she got there, and she called again 15 minutes after she'd promised she'd leave to say she was just leaving, and she came home and seemed okay this morning ...

Anyway, yesterday, when she was trying to convince me to let her drive, she said, first of all, that it would be embarrassing to be driven, now that she's had her license for a year. And that she had driven her friends E and E and A home the night before, after a school dance thing, and that she'd been very safe, and that she'd been getting a lot of practice, and that she could have slept over at E's house with E and A, because she was right there, but no, she hadn't, because she had this bio thing that morning, so she'd come home, and then spent the entire day working on the bio project ...

The very picture of responsibility.

Somehow, the key was that she had denied herself the pleasure of sleeping over at E's because she realized she had to be home and alert for this bio project the next morning.

Which, in fact, was quite responsible.

Although, perhaps not as impressive to us as to her.

So we let her go --

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