WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — EB appears to be wrapped up in a conundrum, as he teeters the tightrope of guiding his son seamlessly into adulthood, while also levying the proper restraint to ensure he doesn’t grow up too fast.
This age-old dilemma is nothing new; every father wants to be the cool dad, while also protecting the innocence of his child for as long as humanly possible.
Frankly, while I can’t be certain — as I’ve never reared a child, nor would I pretend to understand how to — I’m not sure one can truly understand how to achieve that delicate balance until faced with the situation for the first time.
This seems to be the precise impasse at which EB finds himself, with his 13-year-old son, whom he recently discovered engaging in the ancient Chinese art of “beer pong,” sans beer, of course.
Let’s set the scene in EB’s home, where his son and a friend were gathered for a sleepover.
“They come over, and I’m downstairs, and all of a sudden I come upstairs, and I see him, and he’s over at the bar, okay,” EB said. “And he’s got all these cups out, right? The red cups. And I had just had family over for a World Cup party on Sunday. So we went out, and we did the obligatory — we bought all the food, and I bought a bunch of soda and crap for the kids, and of course, daddy needed some for his Jack and Cokes; we had root beers, and we had Orange Crush, we had all that stuff there on the bar — and all of a sudden, I see him, and he’s pouring, not beer, not liquor, he’s pouring soda into the cups.
And I go, ‘What are you doing?’
He goes, ‘Playing beer pong with root beer.’
I said, ‘Beer pong?!‘ I said, ‘Where have you seen that?’
He said, ‘C’mon, dad. Like, every movie. Like every movie that you watch, the guys are playing beer pong.’
And now I’m frozen, okay. I literally don’t know what to do. Part of me is intrigued, because I actually think it’s kind of funny. The other part of me thinks, well this is heinous behavior. I can’t encourage this, so the only thing I tell him is, ‘You know beer tastes horrible, right? You know that nobody likes beer when they first tried it?’
And he goes, ‘Ah, I tried one of yours when you threw it away once. It wasn’t that bad.’ He told me that. That was another stunner. Frozen! So here I am just frozen!”
So how did EB handle this moral dilemma? He chose the cool dad route and allowed his son to continue to play.
Personally, I wouldn’t perceive this as being a big deal, or a proverbial canary in the coal mine, or anything.
Then again, it likely wouldn’t have been a topic of conversation had not some degree of fear been present within EB, that his son is ready to take that next step into adolescence — the one that involves going to basement parties, the type rife with mysteriously available beer.
If nothing else, EB’s decision to let his son play almost assuredly gives him a leg up on the competition, which, in turn, will allow him to remain in control of the table once that inevitable next life step does take place, which will make him a boss, and probably keep him more sober than his counterparts, because, as we all no, ‘Losers drink!’
Right decision, in my mind.
What say you?
The story begins around one-third of the way through the segment below.