January 1, 2005 – We were invited to my cousins’ for New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t a party with other guests. They had specifically invited us because we happened to be in town and they said that they wanted to meet my kids. I hadn’t seen them for awhile, and we used to be close, so I agreed. My siblings decided to go along as well.
But it wasn’t a good evening. There was lots of cigarette smoke, and they were all, (except for my cousins husband), drinking wine. Some of my sblings also made a choice to join them, although my siblings usually don’t drink around us.
These cousins never used to drink when I’d spent time with them before, so it hadn’t even occured to me that it would be an issue now. We had been members of Narcotics Anonymous together twenty years ago. We did everything together sober. Them knowing that, knowing my husband’s past alcoholoism, and knowing I still don’t drink, why would they specifically invite my family and then pull out wine?
My kids have never been in that type of situation before. The youngest two began to joke that they had wine in their apple cider. I didn’t know how to handle it.
My cousins, who know all about alcoholism, invited us knowing that some of the kids that I have legal custody of have FAS and were born with crack in their blood. I appreciate that they wanted to see us, but I didn’t understand their decision on how to host us.
Maybe I was too sensitive. I wasn’t feeling well. Just a few days earlier I had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia and bronchitis. The cigarette smoke wasn’t helping, but they didn’t know I still wasn’t well. It was my fault for accepting the invitation, I guess. I did miss them and had wanted to see them.
They were playing with the kids, though, not getting drunk, so I stuck it out and was polite. (with the intention of “debriefing” the kids when we were alone again in the motel room.)
Some of my kids also latched onto their piano and began singing worship songs. That was very, very nice. But I also made a decision not to do it again. I love my cousins, but it was very uncomfortable.
Lord Jesus, please help me to know how to handle situations like that better. I ask this in Your Holy Name. Amen