The only problem is I'm afraid I might end up nodding along with her as she rasps out a smug and self-righteous snarky comment that slams all parents who toke a dubie while parenting.
I've been a weekend pot smoker since I was about eighteen. As a new mother, I continued the indulgence, but only when I was out and my son had a babysitter. I swore I'd never be stoned around my kid. And that plan worked for two and a half years, right up until one morning when my toddler waged a concerted campaign to fray each of my nerves.
My first moment of disbelief was that it took two and a half years for her child to fray her nerves. That's some laid back well-behaved kid! Or some laid back mom. Hard to say. Maybe she's just happy in general from the nectar of the ganja.
I'm trying not to be flip.
Because the next portion is what really boggled my mind: she got in the car, drove to the mall, and furtively took a toke off her one-hitter in the trunk.
My second moment of lack of suspension of disbelief was that after such a frazzled day one toke unfurrowed her brow and gave her enough of a high to last at least a couple of hours. Methinks this is the power of placebo.
She then took her toddler on a Pinkie Dinkie Floyd tour of the mall, complete with sensual enjoyment of rock candy.
When the munchies set in, she and her toddler headed back to the car. Meet my third moment of disbelief: under the influence of enough marijuana to call herself high she drove home, with her toddler in the car, no less.
The bottom line for me was how much I identified with the rest of the story that was bracketed within the controversial dope. I, too, have had many days that I wished for a magical mystery cure to unfurrow my brow and help me find the joy in my day and children. Stress is easy to find when you're a mom. It's much harder to remember perspective, and catch a spark of rainbow in the brief life of a bubble while your children laugh and try to capture the elusive spheres.
So I definitely was with Wilson when she wrote
I now believe that — in addition to doing all I can to raise him to be a decent and responsible human being — I need to, from time to time, get down on his level and really see what he sees, to rediscover pleasures like crayons or the sandbox.
When laundry, work, phone calls, personal hobbies, errands, and household chores call my name all day, I've had to find my way to letting it all go so I can sit awkwardly on a tiny chair and pretend to eat a plastic hamburger patty meant to be a chocolate cookie in this tea-n-lemonade party my daughter spent a half an hour setting up. And smile. Like a Miss America pageant entrant.
If I stop and savor the moment, just be, just right there, at that table---the sound of three people pretend chewing plastic toy food, pretend slurping imaginary tea, an occasional muffled giggle, an obligatory belch, dancing eyes in little faces, hands forgetting their prissy poses for a moment then snapping back to with darting glance to see if the etiquette breach was observed---it can be enjoyable. At least for a moment.
Instead of the fast path via drugs, I found it through careful awareness. This takes time, thought, mindfulness. But it's natural, free, and legal.
Wilson's dependence on drugs for carefree parenting is seriously concerning, especially as it is prettily hidden in eloquent writing and exceptional rationalization. Who doesn't want to be a relaxed and loving parent?
We're evolved, aren't we, so we shouldn't care how someone gets there, right? Different paths, same journey?
Not so much.
It's a murky line, and I don't mean to dispute marijuana versus alcohol right now, but bottom line: marijuana is illegal. It is a mind and response altering substance.
However, as I said, it's more the author's dependence on drugs to be what she perceives Her Best Mothering Self. She mentions no other coping mechanisms or tools; just marijuana. Pot is apparently her only path to relaxing and blocking so she can provide undistracted positive attention to her son
In an ideal world, I'd be able to do all of these things without the help of an herb. But the world isn't ideal. It's full of overflowing laundry hampers, dirty dishes and unanswered email. Pot's much-maligned a motivational properties I would term an enticement to "single-tasking." Erecting a temporary smokescreen is a way to block out the demands that take my attention away from my child.
She's right: we need to tune out these distractions and focus on our kids now and again.
I just have the feeling most of us manage it without having to smoke marijuana. And I worry that this encourages fretful moms who feel out of balance that pot is the way to go.
It comes from a good place (desire to be a good mother) but uses a bad path to get there.
Let me know what you think about smoking pot to parent (which is different than smoking pot on the weekends with friends or past bedtime, etc, not that I'm advocating those, just pulling out the red herrings upfront).
Also, do you think this article about pot smoking is a true story, or a fictionalized account to make a point and create controversy?
Note: This article has been sk*rt'd! Come vote! Thanks!
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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