"You remember how the cops found 25 million marijuana plants in that building downtown today?" he asks me over spaghetti. "I do; all 25 hundred of them," I reply. "Well, mom, they said that they haven't arrested a suspect," and I added, "Yet."
He's grounded for the next week, for being ridiculously stupid after school today, so the CBC is as much stimulation as the kid can get. He'll take it and soak in every last drop.
The 11 year old perks up. "2500 whats?" he asks, and his brother fills him in on all the details. He hears the story and asks me, "Marijuana is a plant?" I tell him that it is, that it's, more accurately, an herb much like basil or parsley except that it doesn't make your pasta taste better, it gets you high.
"What's high?" they ask, and I am suddenly Jack's tweenage reality.
I was somewhere around their age when I realized that everything coming out of my mother's mouth was utter crap. I found out that starting your period didn't mean you were sexually active, that listening to the Blue Oyster Cult wasn't going to make Satan take possession of your soul and that no one's eyes would stay like that, no longer how long they waited. Fast forward a few decades and here I sit at my dining room table with four wide eyes peering at me, waiting for the response to the drug question, both old enough to see through any crap I felt like dishing out in the quest to become my own mother.
So I take a deep breath in and explain to them what high is. I use the 'sugar buzz' analogy and am sure to add the whole 'what goes up must come down' ending. They moaned when they think about crashing from a sugar buzz, so I'm pretty sure they get the point I'm trying to make.
Of course, I didn't get off that easy. As if that wasn't bad enough, one of them asked me exactly how bad marijuana is for you. I choked a little on my pasta. "Well, guys....see...errr....here's the thing. I don't actually know if it's bad for you or not."
Because I don't know, that's why.
These are those sorts of moments when I want to lie so so so bad to them, but I don't think I should. Maybe that makes me the worst mother ever, but maybe it means that when they get older and they do try it, and I'm guessing they probably will whether or not I like it, they won't remember that their very stupid, naive mother told them pot was The Devil and would instantly rot their eyeballs out, but that their regular old mom very unemotionally told them that, "...maybe it isn't bad for you at all; I don't know. I know that a lot of times, people who sell it add other drugs to it that are very very bad for you, to make it more addictive, but I also know that sometimes it really helps people who are sick, and I know that it isn't as bad for you as cigarettes are and that it doesn't make you as crazy as alcohol does, but I do know that it smells terrible and besides, it's against the law to use and we don't break the law in our family, do we?"
"How do you know what it smells like, mawwwwm?"
Oh, crap. Crap crap bleep bleep crap. I was doing so well. "Because I tried it once. And it made me throw up and it smelled really bad and I won't ever try it again, and I really hope you never do."
"Too bad cigarettes didn't make you throw up, too," they add with a little elbow to my ribs.
But they did. Oh, did they ever. But they also had me at drag three and the only thing that could ever trump that addiction was pregnancy. It's just that someone told me they were gross and they'd make me hurl and die of cancer, but no one ever told me that they'd have me at drag three. No one ever gave me more than surface information on anything; sex, drugs, rock and roll, none of it. I had to learn it all the hard way, and I'm still trying to repress the Def Leppard years.
And so that day I sat at my table, looking at my innocent little babies who aren't at all that anymore, who have their own lives and experiences I'll never know about, and I was forced to make a choice. I could choose to over-blow the situation and give them the Marijuana Kills lecture, which they'll realize in all of two years is bull, or I could just tell them what I know, from my own experience, and pray they'll learn from it.
This is an original post for Canada Moms Blog by Mr Lady, who is vehemently against the use of drugs but strongly believes that if her kids going to hear about it, it should be from her. And is a little afraid of the reaction she's going to get for this post.