The End of the World as You Know It

I have really been struggling with this next blog post. A lot. I was thinking of writing something more lighthearted than the next part of our story. I would much rather tell you about the time my son tried to make me breakfast when he was 4. He had cracked several eggs on top of 2 pieces of bread and then poured cinnamon on top of it and put it in the oven. He didn’t turn it on or anything, he just put it in there. And then, even at that young age he was so wise, knowing the caffeine addict I am, made a cup of coffee for me as well, a cup of water with some coffee grounds dumped into it. He came to my bed, took my hand and led me to the kitchen to show me what he had done, he was SO proud. It was one of the sweetest memories I have of the past 16 years. I can’t help but smile writing about it…  

But that’s not where the story was going, and to do anything else but tell you what happened next, just seems wrong. Though you need to know that the smile that was on his face that morning is the same one that just came home to me tonight, after hanging out with some friends and the girl that he likes, but that is also a story for another day. I would very much prefer to tell that one as well, but it won’t mean anything without the whole back story, so… 

The weekend after he had come home buzzed from the two beers, he again walked through the door after hanging out at a friend’s, looking not quite right. Actually, not even remotely right. He had that beautiful smile, but it was too  big, and lasted too long, his eyes were bloodshot, and he was speaking very slowly. I felt like the floor had opened  up and was about to suck me down into it. He was high. HIGH. I looked at him closely and asked what he had done. He said that he had tried pot with his friends, he was curious and wanted to see what the hype was all about. Can you please tell me how the fuck we got to smoking pot 2 weeks after his first drink??? 2 Weeks? Really?? Wasn’t this shit supposed to evolve or something? Wasn’t I supposed to have a little time to adjust to the fact that my baby was now a teenager, starting to do stupid teenager things? Umm 2 weeks, yeah, NOT ENOUGH ADJUSTMENT TIME. 

I sat down and tried to collect my thoughts. All I knew was that he had told me the truth, and we now had to have a conversation about it. I had to hold it together, to have a conversation and not scream, or smack him, as much as I wanted to. I needed to continue the conversation. It was one of those make or break moments, making the wrong choice could be devastating.  So I sat down and asked him all about it. Where they got it, how they did it, how he felt, everything I could think of. But there was no stopping the tears. I cried through the entire conversation, but kept talking calmly, tried to be understanding, and just not completely freak out. He was of course upset that I was crying, but I told him it was just the shock of it, it was THE last thing I expected from him, and it was my physical response to that shock. Where had the kid who loved participating in all of the DARE programs at school, and actually got really excited about Red Ribbon Week every year, gone? The little boy who came home from these events gushing about all that he had learned about drugs, how bad they were and why you shouldn’t do them, where the hell did THAT kid go, because I swear he was just standing there a second ago. 

So, for a parent, the problem with communication is that for it to function, it must go both ways.  I had to answer the questions that he asked as well. I had always believed that there was an appropriate version of every truth that a child could understand, which would evolve as they grew more mature. Nothing good would come from lying to a child, so I never did, about anything. Well okay, once, when his hamster died, but that was the ONLY time, and it was kind of necessary.  Oh, and about Santa and the Easter Bunny, how could you not?  But about everything else, it was age appropriate truth. This time, he was getting the full on, straight up, hardcore version. He asked if I smoked pot, and when I started. I told him that I had smoked, but never really liked it very much, so it certainly was never a regular thing (I much prefer a good bottle of wine, but he hadn’t asked about that). Anyway, the significant part of this truth, was that the first time I smoked was when I was about to leave for college. There’s a lot of development that happens between the ages of 16 and 18. This was my basis for explaining that he was simply too young for this kind of experimentation. It was just too high risk for him to be doing something like that at this very critical point in his life, where the paths that now lay before him would begin to disappear with bad decision making. I just hoped that something, any part of what I was saying, was getting through to him. If not, was there a military type boarding school, that wasn’t at all military affiliated, I could send him away to? I made a note to self to look into that the next day, just in case… 

We talked and talked, and then the next morning we talked some more. He told me I was the coolest mom on the planet, promised not to try pot again, and thanked me for not going completely nuts the night before. If he only knew what was going on in my head… So I continued to have faith, and hoped for the best. I actually did believe his promise, for the painfully short amount of time that was still a possibility.

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17 thoughts on “The End of the World as You Know It

  1. Taking the time to talk to our kids is seriously the most important thing we can do. If they’re well-educated about the risks of drinking, drugs, sex and all the other crap we just wish they’d never find out about, hopefully they’ll make the right decisions about all of it.
    My kids aren’t old enough (and won’t be for awhile) to get into this stuff, but I only hope that when they are I have the right wise words to give them.

    • I so completely agree, you can’t bury your head in the sand and hope for the best, it’s an ongoing conversation that lasts a lifetime. As much as you want to protect them from every single thing, the only real protection is education and communication. I have no doubt you will know exactly what to say to your kids when the time comes!

  2. Congrats mom for the level head and communication. my oldest will be 35 this year how your post took me back to then. tears filled my eyes as I read on. our belief was to guide the talk and listen. so hard when you understand danger but try not to scare them off communicating with you. Ps I have a great grown up with family of his own.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing that! The positive reinforcement is absolutely priceless to me, because I still feel like I’m winging it every day. You give me hope 🙂

  3. Well done for being open and honest with him. I too have trepidation about this happening in future. All I can say about this particular type of minefield is that keeping a relationship of trust and open talk sounds like the right thing to do; having a teen who feels comfortable coming to you and talking about these things when they happen. Good luck.

    • Thank you, I appreciate your kind words very much! It’s exhausting, but taking it day by day, some are good, some not so good, but at least we have the kind of relationship you mention, it is so important.

  4. I think it’s incredible that he is so open and honest with you. That’s what’s important. Experimenting a little bit in his teens doesn’t have to be anything other than normal teenage stuff. As long as you keep the communication open, I’m sure he’ll be fine. #commenthour

    • Thank you, the words of support and encouragement really mean a lot!! Honestly, I can’t believe he’s so honest and open with me either, LOL.

  5. Pingback: The Big Bad, Part 1 | Care and Feeding of Your Millennial Monster

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