Realities on Divorce, Dating, Parenting and Re-Invention

#125. The Rules

Stock Mom Pulling Ear 2

#125. The Rules

stock mom pulling ear (2)My son began grade nine this year and is really putting the ‘high’ into High School.  Sigh.  Chip off the old block.  It’s crazy to see him behave exactly as I did, although I waited until grade ten to permanently smell like a Reggae Festival.  What am I gonna do. Chain him up to his bed? He’s off to University in a short few years.  I’m just trying to get him there in one piece with or without a bong.

I’ve done the whole ‘just say no to drugs’ thing for years and watched countless episodes of “Intervention” with my son.  Both our favourite part of the show was always the moment when the addicts realize that they have unknowingly stumbled into their own Interventions and become irrationally irate at being ‘lied to’ and lured under false pretenses.  It’s absurd to witness this sudden attachment to morality and truth after the addict has been lying, stealing and acting like a raving lunatic for the bulk of the episode.  But I digress. 

All I can do where my son’s pot smoking is concerned is keep the lines of communication open and encourage an honest exchange.   How can I forbid pot smoking altogether when the majority of Toronto is stoned? He’s a teenager and he will do lots of crazy things whether I say anything about it or not. I’m not going to pretend that he’s the exception and will abstain from all stupid decisions because then I won’t know the reality!  I may not like reality all the time but it’s way better to live in it.  I don’t allow drugs into our apartment and have told him that he is forbidden to be stoned in class.  Those are my fixed rules and I don’t have many so I expect the few I that I do have to be followed.  But I suppose after school is fair game…

When my boy came home from school a couple of hours late the other day I knew exactly what he had been up to.  The fact that he beelined over to the tray of banana/chocolate chunk muffins and began devouring them like a feral child was the first clue.  His bloodshot eyes just cemented my assumptions.  I watched the display of him voraciously shoveling muffin remnants into his mouth in awe.

“Hey.  Sparky.  Gonna grow some dreads next?  You smell like an Amsterdam Hostel.” I said as a devilish grin crept over my stoned teenagers face.

“Mom.  I’m not stoned”, my son Sparky said as he sprayed me with muffin particles flying out of his mouth.

I had to laugh.  It was funny!  Then he started laughing and admitted, “Guess I’m not very convincing at this moment now huh.” 

Ya think?  Look, when he’s not smoking pot, my genius son spends most of his spare time studying Quantum Physics, Philosophy and other topics that I can barely scratch the surface of.  He talks to me about his theories on the Time Continuum and I pretend that I understand what he’s saying but I don’t! I have no fucken clue what he’s talking about most of the time.  My brain literally hurts when he talks.  I can’t imagine what it’s like to think about these things all the time!  The kid needs a break.  I’m not saying that I want him to smoke pot, but if it gives him a respite from the most baffling questions of our Universe and motivates him to socialize with kids his own age in a High School, then so be it. 

As long as his marks remain in the 90’s then I am ok with the pot a couple of times a week if necessary.  If the marks are high, then so can he be.  (There’s a parenting motto…)  As I recall, it was only pot that inspired me to attend school in the first place and motivated me to pay attention.  Otherwise I would never have been able to sit in class.  But I will continue to monitor my son’s pot intake and deal with each day as it comes.  And before anyone judges me, just wait until your kid is a teenager and then get back to me on parenting advice.  It’s very easy to say “oh, my kid would never do that” until your kid does it.

Uch. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  I talk a big game about being a responsible adult but I don’t really know what that even means.  I quit smoking and suddenly I think I’m a Holier-Than-Thou-Together-Adult?  Who am I trying to kid?  It’s funny how I can make stupid decisions and justify them but when others do I lambaste them.  I’m a hypocrite.

Does anyone have constant rules that they live by?  Life keeps changing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.  A rule or ideology that worked for me one year ago could now be obsolete depending on all of the variables.  Choices I made a few short months ago are ridiculous to me now.  I’m against pot yet my son smokes it?  Guess I’m not that against it… 

All I know is that ‘The Rules’, for myself and my son, are a fluid concept and always changing depending on experience, development, new information and circumstances.  There is no one size fits all.  Not in parenting and not in life.  I’m trying to be consistent but also reasonable.  We are all just winging it and doing the best that we can.  It seems that I accept, respect and love my son for exactly who he is.  Think I better work on doing that with the rest of the world and stop being such a judgmental asshole.

  1. Joan
    JoanOct 14, 2013

    OMG Hayley, I love your new auditory feature! I get to hear your voice!

    I’ve gone through a similar thing with my 18 year old. Kids, circumstances force us to make decisions that we never would have thought we would make….including realizing that there’s only so much we can do regarding our teenager’s behavior and habits. Fighting that only pushes them away and makes it more likely they’ll do shit we don’t like.

    And don’t worry, we’re all hypocrites and we all judge. Recognizing that fact and admitting it is a great step towards fixing it and is leaps and bounds beyond what much of humanity does.

    • Hayley
      HayleyOct 14, 2013

      Thanks Joan! Hope the audio is not creepy. Thought it might be a fun thing to add seeing as though I make the majority of my income from voice work.

      Yeah, guess we are all hypocrites. I don’t like that I tend to be the judge and jury of others. I don’t like that quality about myself. Been thinking a lot about my flaws lately. Trying to get honest with myself. Upon reflection, I tend to lash out on others when I feel that I have been mistreated in someway, but really I had failed to create boundaries in the first place!

      I really want to try to be the kind, compassionate person that I am with my son with everyone else. Gotta have a goal!

  2. mary
    maryOct 15, 2013

    Hayley I really enjoy your writing, so open, funny and personable. I am not sure I understand putting it out in the open that your son participates in something that is illegal. I am not judging the action’s of your son, I have no issues with it. I just wonder what good could come of this for your son?

    • Hayley
      HayleyOct 15, 2013

      I see your point. I’m sharing it because drug experimentation is unfortunately a common experience that parents deal with. In this blog I try to share the experiences that I am struggling with in all realms of life, including parenting. My son has no interest in my blog (he NEVER reads it) and I can see how normal this activity is with his age group. There seems to be a very permissive attitude towards pot smoking in our society at this point in time and I’m trying to wrap my head around it and figure out how to create healthy boundaries. Thank you for your comment. I do choose what I’m going to write about very carefully especially where my son is concerned and don’t write anything that I know he would have a problem with.

  3. mary
    maryOct 15, 2013

    You are a braver woman than I. My divorce continues to be a sometimes unreal experience. I would be fearful of children’s aid involvement and/or the police. Thank you for your honesty. I am quite sure my ex would have figured out a way to take me to court already if I wrote about him in a blog.

    • Hayley
      HayleyOct 15, 2013

      Well Mary, considering that I liken my ex to Adolf Hitler (for humour of course), I’m thinking that the pot is the least of the issues! My ex would probably sue me except I have no money so there’s no point I guess. Besides, my ex is aware of the pot and doesn’t seem to be too bothered by it. Since I have raised our son primarily by myself, been completely dedicated to parenting and have raised a great kid, it would be tough to prove that I am an unfit parent especially because I am not. He could try but then there might be some publicity generated and his consistently withheld child support payments would also come to light.

      I guess there came a time where I stopped being scared of my ex and felt a stronger desire to connect with women who were having the same sort of experiences as I. It’s easy for us to feel isolated especially when we are overwhelmed with bills, lawyers and some abusive ex’s. I was tired of being afraid of my life because I felt like I had no control. This little blog has allowed me to gain my power back by opening up and letting all my secrets go and I truly hope that it reminds anyone who was and/or is as scared as I was that they aren’t alone. I have found my strength through being vulnerable and as crazy as I know what I am writing sounds, it feels better to be honest about real life than struggling to pretend that I have it all together or hide.

      Mary, I really appreciate your feedback. I thought a lot about what you said about my son and how what I was writing could impact him. You made a really good point. I thank you for caring enough to take the time and write about a valid concern and I value your point of view.

      I’m sorry your divorce is the disaster that many of us know all too well. You may not be able to see it right now, but this will pass. It gets easier as the kid/s get older. We also get stronger. You are way stronger than you know and this maybe the most painful but most important opportunity that you’ve ever had. Hang in there sister – I’m with ya!
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