DEAR ABBY: I am divorced and have three daughters. My ex-husband "Sam" married "Connie." She is 11 years younger than I am. Connie has no children of her own and they do not have children together yet.
My girls are under 18, so we still have the weekend visitation arrangement. The last time they were scheduled to visit their father, Connie came to pick them up.
The problem: Connie reeked of alcohol. Sam and I do not live in the same town -- there's about a 15-mile drive between us. Now I'm kicking myself in the hindquarters because I let my daughters leave with her.
I cannot have any more children, Abby, and the three I have are a precious gift from above. Had my daughter's friend come to pick her up and the friend reeked of alcohol, there's no way I would have let my daughter get into the car. I let them go with Connie and hoped for the best because I did not want to start a fight -- which I now feel was incredibly stupid. What should I do if this happens again? -- TRYING TO DO RIGHT IN MINNESOTA
DEAR TRYING TO DO RIGHT: Allowing the children to ride with a driver who reeked of alcohol was inexcusable. You are fortunate it wasn't a tragedy. If Sam doesn't know about this incident, he should be made aware of it.
Since you can't predict whether Connie will show up drunk or sober, in the future either you or your ex-husband must provide the transportation for the children.