As a FitMama, I like to share my wise and healthy ways with the wee ones on a regular basis. We discuss topics like proper form, the importance of balance between strength and cardio training, and why we buy grassfed beef and free range chicken. The one topic we haven’t covered yet? Drugs.
I knew the talk would have to come, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be so serious so soon. We’re talking elementary school here – first and third grade to be precise. We haven’t gone much beyond the “Drugs are bad, mmmkay” reasoning. Granted, we have had mulitple conversations about smoking (I ended a long-term relationship with PFunks a little over two years ago) and alcohol (having witnessed firsthand the results of a tragic DUI accident last summer). And every single day I stress the importance of good foods over bad foods, of active bodies over inert. But drugs? That seemed a future lesson. Now, there are two children from our district, eerily close in age to my own dear monkeys, in ICU recovering from overdoses. Because the hallucinogen 2C-I (aka “smiles”) was hidden in breath mints. Breath mints. Candy.
It’s too close to home, people. I am so anxious for those two healthy, happy kids to bounce off that bus…so I can get this discussion started. And I feel we have a pretty good foundation already laid. They are aware of the significance of what we put into our bodies and how everything we ingest can be either fuel or toxin. So it’s not even the aspect of the actual drug that is bothering me. It’s quite easy to explain that drugs wreak havoc on our bodies and we don’t take them. That’s very black and white and kid-brain friendly.
Now, how do we go about this whole “hidden in candy” business? Because that, friends, is the truly frightening part of the story. Elementary students are not trying to get high; they are, however, pretty sharply focused on getting their hands on some sugar. Even my small one is quite aware of what lies inside that orange KitKat wrapper – and he’s willing to use force to unearth it if necessary. My kids know – they know – my feelings on regular sweet consumption. We don’t keep it in the house (unless it’s Paleo friendly) and it’s only for special occasions. As in, dinners out or Grandma visits. So of course I know – I know – that they’re eating it as often as possible behind my back.
Every week there’s some sort of treat from school or a birthday party or a playdate. Sometimes I find only the empty wrappers and am forced to play archeological detective. Sometimes I am the recipient of Precious Moments-eyes and tiny hands clasped tightly together, fingers wound around a lollipop stick. I typically allow it. They’re kids. And overall, I know their diet and routines are good and solid. So what’s a little candy?
It turns my stomach now that I have to reconsider that answer. Now that I have to tell them that we don’t take candy from anyone unless I okay it first. Now that I have to make absolutely certain that they don’t take candy for granted.
Because we still, as a community, don’t know where it came from. Not this time, and maybe not the next. Call me paranoid…or call me a mother. And pray that the parents or adults responsible never come near my children – for that adult’s own sake. Yes, my voice is soft. And yes, I am quiet. I am not large nor do I look intimidating. But if you want to witness an amazing transformation – just try to darken my child’s world.
I know this is not my typical post…it’s not motivational, or funny, or even very informative. But it wasn’t really meant to be. I had a platform to vent and a soapbox to step onto. I felt like using it.
*for more info on 2C-I, follow this link: