Lifestyle and Lessons
It was always our intention to raise our children surrounded by family and friends, so when Justin graduated from dental school and it was time to leave New York, we headed back home to the Bay Area. Our families still live in the same town, the one that holds the high school that we both attended. Many of our friends live here and are also raising their families; their kids are on Jack and Zoe’s sports teams and in Beau’s preschool classes. I didn’t know that this is what I wanted, but I’m really grateful for the tight knit community that we’ve been lucky enough to become a part of again.
Living in close proximity to all of these friends and family members means there is always something to do. From birthday parties to holidays, viewing parties and lazy summer day play dates, we are always doing something with people we really enjoy being around. As most people do, we send to keep company that are like-minded and with similar interests or life stages. Our social gatherings almost always include some kind of entertainment like sports, movies or activities that will suit everyone, and they always include food and drinks. As much as I’d love to be a master hostess, that kind of thing doesn’t come very easily for me but I always know to include refreshments, and I almost always overdo it.
We were raised around causal drinking. Beer and wine was always around during family events when we were kids, and it still is now. While Justin and I don’t drink during the week usually, we will occasionally have a beer or a glass of wine during weekend dinners and especially BBQ’s. I grew up never asking questions about alcohol and learned all about it in my own experiences, but because of theprogram that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of for over a year now, I’m learning that it’s important to talk about alcohol with the kids now and start these conversations earlier. We are casual drinkers, as are most if not all of our friends and family, and it’s a normal part of our life and theirs. There are times that alcohol hasn’t had “normal” presences in both of our lives and through family members, and it’s a relevant and important topic to discuss with them now that they’re getting old enough to understand.
I believe that casual drinking will be a part of our life indefinitely, and because of that especially it’s important that the kids know that it isn’t a healthy part of life and something that should be respected and enjoyed in moderation. There are resources and tools provided by Responsibility.org’s #TalkEarly program that have helped us approach this conversation for all of our kid’s ages and stages. Children appreciate and do well with honesty and as much truthful information that they can be provided with, and I want them to know that they can ask questions about our lifestyle and certain elements, trusting that they will hear the truth from us. We are fortunate to have a beautiful, supportive community around us and it’s important to me to remove certain stigmas before they begin.