#125. The Rules
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.