My husband and I have had a week's trip planned for several months. We had somewhat hoped our son would care to join us but realized that he probably wouldn't because, 1) He's 18 and past the family vacation stage, and 2) He's only been home from his group home for less than a month and really has no desire to go anywhere. He is going to house/pet sit for us, but we have some concerns about leaving him home alone based on what happened a year ago when we did so, i.e., we came home to the house a mess but, more importantly, reports from our local police (we live in a little bedroom community with its own 6-man police force who know all the families and their kids...) that kids were found loitering in front of our house after midnight and then ran off because they had been drinking, one breaking a leg and the other found passed out in our back yard! According to the police, who checked our house, there were no signs of anyone having been in the house, although there had been a party up the street, presumably where these boys had gotten the alcohol. There were also no signs that our son had been drinking. Obviously, we don't want a repeat of what happened, so we've talked to our son in depth about avoiding the same problem this year. We're also asking our neighbor to keep an eye out and the police force to patrol. They have no problem coming up and knocking on the door to talk to our son and/or check our home should they feel the need. We talked to the therapist who is following our son for the next six months, and she feels that what happened last year is in the past and that he should have the opportunity to house-sit for us, using the maturity he's developed over this last year and the skills regarding peer pressure he learned in his group home therapy. Not everything is perfect, but we have seen good positive changes in him in the month he's been home and agree. However, my father, whose opinion we very much respect, feels that we should NOT be leaving him alone and that, by doing so, we are putting him in a situation where there could be a good deal of temptation and that we could be setting him up for failure. He feels that, as parents, we should avoid that, even if it means cancelling our trip. I pointed out that, every time he walks out the door, he's subject to temptation, and, at 18 years old, we certainly can't follow him around. I'm feeling very torn about whether or not we should be going on this trip. On the one hand, I think our son will do just fine, as he seems to taking the responsibility seriously, even taking notes! This is something he NEVER would have done a year ago, but rather let what we said go in one ear and out the other. He really seems to be trying hard to avoid situations where he might get into trouble and has come home every night since he's been home much earlier than the midnight curfew we all agreed on. On the other hand, my father reminded us that our son is impulsive and doesn't do a lot of self-reflection when he makes decisions. I can't argue with that, although we have also seen a change in his impulsivity since a year ago. HELP!!