We had an interesting conversation at dinner recently. Let me back up and explain; this was at 8:30 p.m. after back-to-back activities (this is normal at our house, but that’s another chapter about how I terrible I am at the traditional 6:00 family dinner hour). The girls and I sat down to eat; they were bickering and I asked them to please stop so we could eat together in peace. After a tacit prayer I suggested we do “highs” and “lows” of our day, a practice encouraged by our church youth education leaders. Lilli steped up to the plate immediately (keep in mind this is my daughter who likes to eat facing the mirror so she can see herself eat; who does that?) with a list of highs that really end with lows. It was humorous enough to shake the crabby mood off as Ellie added commentary to Lilli’s high-low drama. Ellie, in typical fashion offered little about her emotional state. So little I can’t recall. Then it was my turn, except in my typical fashion I used the opportunity to install values. It went something like this:
Me: “Well my high is that we are all together and we have a long weekend together. My low is that I had a conversation with another mom today about ‘pot cookies.’ Her son was at a friend’s house with other kids and apparently one of the boys was passing out cookies with pot in them.”
Lilli: “Do we know him?”
Ellie: “Is he in my grade?”
Me: “No” (lie.)
Me: “Have you guys heard of pot cookies?”
Both girls: “Yes.”
Me: (kinda shocked looked at Lilli) “How do you know about pot cookies?”
Lilli: “From a movie where they eat pot brownies to relax.”
(great, probably rated PG too. It wasn’t Shrek was it? The donkey is suspicious. Maybe it was Frozen? Elsa is kinda uptight.)
I launched into a mini-sermon about how sad it is that you don’t even know who to trust. That you could actually try pot without knowing it by eating a cookie! I ended with “No more cookies from other people” and on we went with our night.
When Ellie went to bed, again I said, “Please, don’t eat pot cookies,” which she replied, “You are getting paranoid. Goodnight.”
Paranoid? Not me. Okay, maybe me. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. wide awake with pot cookies on the brain. Now paranoia set in, as it can when bats and mice take over at that hour. I wondered, what if Ellie has already tried pot cookies? How would I know? It’s legal now in some states, maybe it isn’t that bad anymore. I grabbed my phone, opened Safari and did research on the subject. My research effort began with the question: “How do I know if my teenager is using marijuana?” The first signs they offered were things like “you catch them in the act,” “new burn marks on fingers,” “drug paraphernalia in their room” and “marijuana poster above their bed.” Seriously? I think I’d catch those signs. Then again I haven’t been in her room in awhile and I haven’t clipped her fingernails in over 15 years and she doesn’t hold my hand to cross streets anymore. So I read on for more clues; “bottles of Visine around for red eyes,” “incense and candles around,” “talking in code or secretive manner,” “unmotivated” and my favorite “sudden need for more money without much to show for it.” It was like reading a list of symptoms for a medical condition and I was checking every box “yes.” Granted it was 2:20 a.m. now but I was starting to wonder if I was eating pot cookies and wasn’t aware of it. I have all of those symptoms!
Then I stumbled upon a post from “Focus on the Family” and was pleasantly surprised at the approach offered. They recommend digging deeper and finding out the reason your teenager is turning to a mind-altering substance. If they are using, they are anesthetizing their mind for a reason. They also encourage parents to draw the line in the sand stating “as long as you live here, there will be no question about my allowing use of marijuana and if I do find out there will be significant consequences.” I can do that. The phone and car are powerful consequences.
Today, I am not worried about either of my girls using drugs. Tomorrow might be different, but today we are okay…so far. When they left for school this morning I jokingly offered a “Remember, no pot cookies!” as casually as I would have said, “Keep you mittens on at recess” ten years ago.
(p.s. photo above is borrowed from www.pinchofnum.com and does not contain actual pot)