Today is my darling baby’s 21st birthday, which in the good ole U. S. of A. means that she can legally purchase and/or be served an alcoholic drink. Whoo-hoo! This becomes quite the rite of passage for many people. It used to be that different states had different legal drinking ages. Back in the 70s, Illinois had it at 21 and Wisconsin had it at 18, so lots of kids would drive over the border to drink and then drive home drunk. Not something a mother wants to think about for too long. In my family of origin, though, drinking was done at home. The first (and only!) time I got sick from sampling alcohol, I was 10 years old. My mother made a Greek dinner and my father let me taste Ouzo, retsina, and Metaxa. I learned how much is too much pretty early. I also learned that I could get much better alcohol at home than I could at a party with my peers. For me, it is all about taste. My father once educated my children at the dinner table by explaining how alcohol is a solvent that releases fragrance and enhances the taste of food. What is the primary liquid in fine perfumes? Alcohol. The pairing of food and drink is a scientific discovery of pleasure. Coming from my dad, that seemed to be the “right” approach, and I think it has served pretty well. My kids grew up having tastes in increased measures and never became binge drinkers. My baby had her first taste when she was baptized at two months old. The priest dipped his finger in the communion wine and let her suck on it. She was a full-fledged member from that day on. Why not?
When I turned 21, I was engaged to be married. My fiance took me out for a champagne brunch after church. All through my 20s, I was having babies. I never went to bars and hardly drank at all. I have no cultural experience of “the bar scene”, and that amuses Steve no end these days. I also missed all of the pop music scene from the 80s on. I am a walking anachronism, it seems. Oh, well. I still think I know how to have fun. I do drink and dance and sing…mostly with family. Tonight, my kids are going out together to do Broadway karaoke at a gay bar. Now, I could fit right in with that! I worked for a children’s musical theater company for 7 years, and my kids were all involved. We rock the Broadway tunes! Sadly, though, Mom is not invited. Not this time, but I hope in the near future.
And now, for the photo journal portion. My family album reveals “Celebrations, Then & Now”:
And now, she’s all growed up! (*sniff*) You are fabulous, Miss Em! Go rock the scene tonight, celebrate your life, your health, your talent, your livelihood, your friends & family, and the fact that you are here and surrounded by love!! And I know you won’t forget, that love extends beyond visible boundaries.