I let my girls stay up late last night because we watched ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ together. And while I don’t love Audrey Hepburn’s character in that particular flick – you know as she’s a bit of a whiny, self-centered, stupid call girl – I still think it’s a classic worth watching. At first when I put it in I wondered if it would be too mature for the girls – you know because of the call girl part – but soon realized that a risque film made in 1961 deserves a G rating compared to just a simple episode of iCarly or a Justin Bieber music video.
However, in 1961 everybody smoked. Explaining why people smoked is actually a bit more difficult than explaining how babies are made because while we see people kissing all of the time, we rarely see a the whole movie cast holding cigarettes.
So the questions start. And not just the ‘why are people smoking?’ question. But THE question after they ask why everyone in the movie is smoking.
“Mommy did you ever smoke?”
Do I tell them how when I was 15 we bought a pack of Camel cigarettes and ripped the filters off and chain-smoked at the Billy Ocean concert? (Do I even admit that I saw Billy Ocean in concert). Do I tell them my almost pack a day habit in college. Do I tell them about the Marlboro Light I bummed at BlogHer?
No, smoking is bad for you. Don’t ever smoke.
Which is followed by “Mom, did you ever drink a lot at parties like they are doing on this movie?”
Do I tell them about the times in high school when we used to drive to Ohio and sneak into bars? Or about the naked beer slides in college? Or about that one time at book club a few years ago when the second bottle of wine went down just right? Which sure none of these are everyday actions or my current reality but I do enjoy a glass of wine now and then.
No, I never do that now. I drink on holidays or special occasions.
Quickly followed by “Mom, all the girls and boys are kissing on each other but none of them are married. Did you kiss a lot of boys before you were married?”
Do I tell them about..(Edited out for more reasons than I can count on one hand).
Just a few. Maybe.
Which brings me to my point that I’m not sure how much of my stories are really any of their business nor do I really feel compelled to share them. Furthermore, just because I did it doesn’t mean it’s okay nor give them permission to do something. But I won’t lie when I say that I hope they don’t drink in excess or smoke more than that one cigarette behind the snack shack at the football game. And for the kissing before they find true love. Well, we all kissed a few frogs and I won’t be one to steer them away from making sure their prince is really the right guy. Kissing is admittedly fun.
What I must remember is that my stories are not their stories. My life is not their life. They must make their own decisions and numerous mistakes and kiss a few frogs. So my plan is to keep the beer slides and unfiltered smoking stories to myself until maybe my daughters are mothers themselves. In the meantime I’ll just try to guide them the best I can while using my vast.ahem. experience at what not to do. With maybe a few white lies thrown in. Just try to tell me that our parents and grandparents didn’t do the same.
But I won’t deny that I may drink a few more glasses of wine now and then as the teens years approach.