Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side
Parenting a high schooler is hard. There is so much peer pressure, everyone is trying to fit in, and then you throw hormones on top of that, it’s a wonder anyone makes it out alive. Shelby (aka Cranky Pants) has had the same group of friends since middle school, but a couple of people have been added this year and a couple of the existing friends have been going through a lot of changes. I have always had some concerns about one particular friend that I’ll call, Mary Jane (for soon-to-be obvious reasons), ever since she decided that the way to spend her birthday sleepover was streaking through her neighborhood. That’s sans clothes, my friends. Cranky Pants came home and told me and said she didn’t do it because it was stupid, and well, it was without clothes. Mary Jane has been going through a lot of changes this year and trying to find the person she wants to be.
Now, I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination and I cringe at remembering what I did as a teen, but it really was a different time back then, and I lived in a much smaller town. And for the most part, I kept my clothes on. I did, however, partake in some experimentation with marijuana. It was 9th grade and we were behind the skating rink, and I didn’t even feel anything different the first time. Yes, I said “the first time”, because there were other times after that, but it was never a huge part of my life. And it certainly wasn’t something I was ever addicted to or have ever done again, in case you were wondering. So now you know that I’m not a pothead or a prude.
Now that we have all that straight, Mary Jane has moved on from public nudity to doing her own experimentation with the marijuana, which makes me sound like my grandma. I know this because Cranky Pants, who I’m now going to start calling Favorite Daughter can’t lie or keep secrets from me. I have no idea how it happened, but she gets stomach-aches when she keeps a secret and she can’t lie. I wish I could have duplicated it for my second daughter, aka Lies A Lot, but it’s an anomaly. Now, she’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and sometimes she doesn’t tell me right away, but I can tell when she’s keeping something and know that she’ll tell me when she’s ready. The other night I was working and she came downstairs crying and told me that Mary Jane has been smoking pot (behind the school nonetheless).
These are the things that went through my head: number one, Thank God it’s not my daughter, number two, should I tell her mother?, and number three, it’s just pot. I don’t know if I’m of the thinking that pot is a gateway drug to harder things. I think it depends on the propensity (big word of the blog) of the person to have an addictive personality and other factors that I just don’t know. And I’m not political at all, so I don’t want to take on legal marijuana or anything like that.
My best friend, Heather (holla!!) and I were talking about drugs these days, and I do realize that I sound like I’m a hundred years old. Anyway, we were talking about the fact that we were mainly exposed to marijuana, but now they have drugs that are made with kitchen cleaner that get you addicted to with one hit. Yeah, I watch Breaking Bad, I know what’s out there.
Then I hugged Favorite Daughter and let her cry, and I told her everything was going to be okay. She wasn’t necessarily crying about the pot, she was crying because her friend had been lying to her about it and telling people not to tell Favorite Daughter because Mary Jane knows she’ll tell me. Which she did, and I’m glad she did. But FD has absolutely no tolerance for lying since we’ve been subjected to it for so long from the monkey. It’s our own kind of PTSD. She said, “I have to worry about my dad lying to me and now my best friend is too?”. But I’m sure Mary Jane doesn’t understand that, she’s just worried about me telling her mom.
Which brings me to the next point. Should I tell her mom? Would I want to know if I was in that situation? To that question, I think (read pray) I would know if I were in that situation. I know where my kids are all the time, she lets her daughter find her own way home from school even though she’s off. I know Shelby’s friends’ parents and she doesn’t get rides home with random students, and I also know if she’s dating or not, which her mom doesn’t know. Maybe I’m involved to a fault, but I know what Favorite Daughter is doing.
So what I’ve come up with is I don’t know if I should tell her or not. I might tell you if Mary Jane’s mom is my Facebook friend, but where would the fun in that be?
Final Thoughts from Christy: Knowing what to do is hard. Knowing what to say, or not to say is just as hard. This is where I pray. And I pray all the time. I pray for Mary Jane, Cranky Pants, and Lies A Lot that they make it through their teen years safe, fairly unscathed, and I also go back and forth on the relationship between Mary Jane and Cranky Pants. CP thinks drugs are stupid and doesn’t want to have anything to do with it, and I’ve certainly put the kibosh on anymore sleepovers. But I go back and forth between CP being a good influence on Mary Jane and her really needing a good influence, and Mary Jane being too bad an influence on CP for her to resist, you know? And not for nothing, but Cranky Pants said she’s too stressed with her own stuff, she doesn’t want to have to worry about what Mary Jane’s doing all the time, which is fair.
One more final thought. In other words, my final final thought. Lest you think I’m being smug about my awesome children, just read back a few blogs and you’ll realize we’re no better than anyone else and struggle just as much. You can take comfort in the fact that it’s all by the grace of God that I’m going anywhere.
So what do you think? Don’t ask, don’t tell? What would you do?
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