“Why did you leave Daddy’s car at the train station all night?”
The question rang out from the backseat of my car, inquisitive and somewhat suspicious. We had just gone out to retrieve my husband’s vehicle, smartly abandoned in the Go Train parking lot after a celebratory night out with friends, and my six-year-old had questions. This was, after all, an unusual errand to be dragged along on a Sunday morning. Was it broken, he wanted to know, and if not, why didn’t we drive it home last night?
“Well,” I explained, choosing my words carefully. “You know how Grandma babysat and we went out?” He said yes, so I continued. “Daddy drove us to the Go Train but when we were with our friends, we drank some wine and other things with alcohol in it. We both had more than one drink so we decided it wouldn’t be safe to drive the car, so we took a cab home from the train station.”
My seven-year-old daughter chimed in. “Because alcohol makes people act SILLY, right?”
“Right,” I said. “Especially if you have a lot of it. You can act silly but also make bad decisions, and your brain works differently after alcohol so you aren’t able to drive safely. You basically shouldn’t do anything dangerous or important after you drink.”
The kids were satisfied with this answer and moved on to other things, like arguing about who had the more powerful Pokemon card. This wasn’t the first time we’d talked about alcohol and it definitely wouldn’t be the last – not by a long shot.