ImageRecently I agreed to have a teen party hosted at my house. I know … I must be crazy. So the Saturday night came and approximately 80 teenagers filtered through the gate onto my short driveway. Perched at my second-story bedroom window, I watched the budding youths awkwardly interact with each other.

One of the most interesting observations was the backpack. Young men mingled with backpacks loosely hung from their shoulders. If there is one thing I know it is that you should never trust a teenager with a backpack at a party. Just what would they have that they couldn’t carry in their pocket or shoe? Yeeeeah … I assume you’re guessing what I guessed. First I thought “What horrible security we have at the gate checking bags.” Then I thought “Well … I’ll have to be vigilant myself.”

And then lo and behold … I watched from my vantage point a tall, gangly teenage boy toss a bottle of vodka and a backpack over my fence from the road. Faster than Wonder Woman I dashed down my stairs, out the front door and straight to the bushes. After pulling out the “goods” I encountered his friend (who was already inside) try to coolly inquire what I had and then not-so-coolly panic as I gave him “the look.”

Not. At. My. House.

I spent the remainder of the evening being “That Stepmom” that locked the house doors, trolled through the bushes and dark areas around the house for hidden stuff, sniffed the air for smoke, stood next to the DJ throwing a don’t-you-dare-try-it look to the crowd, and told stupid girls they couldn’t walk home with their boyfriends at midnight and that I needed to talk to their mothers.

Some people told me I was fighting an uphill battle. I said I didn’t care. I had to at least try. Some said “It’s just Trini culture.”  And I said “That is just an excuse for lazy parenting.”

When I finally closed my eyes after the last of the teenagers left, I knew I could rest easy. Never compromise what you know to be right.