Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oh, Like You Would Have Handled It Any Better

Precocious Daughter and her dad and I had some family time tonight by taking Darling Dog on a walk in the park. It's good exercise, good for the dog, and takes place in view of witnesses so nobody can kill anybody else.

Dogs make everything happy.
PDaughter and I were discussing the differences between Robert Redford's film version of The Great Gatsby and Leonardo DiCaprio's. Mostly we were trying to remember who played Tom Buchanan in the earlier film (Bruce Dern, duh), and I was opining that Gatsby really is a weak, terrible character, and PDaughter was vehemently disagreeing because she loves Robert Redford and is absolutely freaking gaga for Leo.

Dude can rock the pink suit, though.
And while we were discussing all things Gatsby, I noted in passing something laying on the path as I walked by. Although it was very small, my brain must have registered it as an item of interest, because it told my legs to stop and my eyes to return to the object and have another look. Which I did.

It was a tiny Ziploc bag covered with cute red hearts. And inside it were two hairy little buds of marijuana.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have yelled "Whoa!"

In my day, dimebags were much larger but not
nearly as precious.
Well, I couldn't just leave this bag of contraband lying on the ground for a child to find, could I? How terribly irresponsible. So I handed it to PDaughter's dad, who wisely and bravely chose to transport it out of the park on his own person.

And then I turned to my child and said, "That wasn't anything."

I'm pretty sure she believed me.
And my sweet, innocent, darling child laughed and said, "Right, because I've had no experience with that."

Then I suspect she saw that we were about to experience a murder or a heart attack (Old 97s reference for the win) right there in the park in front of the dog, she assured me that her experience wasn't personal, but that there were plenty of kids using and selling drugs in her middle school.

Which made me feel so goddamn much better.

Actually, I am neither naïve nor a hypocrite, and I would expect nothing less from a middle school than the presence of drugs and sex. I'm not happy about it, and I don't condone it. But mumble-mumble years ago I was there. So yeah, of course that's how it is.

I totally believe PDaughter when she says she hasn't tried any of that stuff. For one thing, she's an honest kid. For another, her parents have raised her with the knowledge that we are pretty comprehensively messed up in many ways, and nothing she ever says or does will be met with harsh judgment unless she lies about it. Honestly, it's way too much effort to try to convince a smart, sensitive kid that you're better than she is. I don't know how - or why - other parents manage it.

When this photo session is over I'm going to
lock myself in my room with a bottle of tequila
and a razor blade.
So we went back to talking about what a tool I think Gatsby is, and she quoted passages from the book to try to prove me wrong (didn't work), and it was a very pleasant walk.

And I'm going to believe that PDaughter either forgot about the tiny bag o' dope or assumed that her dad would dispose of it when we got home.

Meaning, I'm 100% certain she didn't forget about it and she assumes her dad will use it for its intended purpose.

I ain't raising no Jan Brady.
I guess I was absent from Mom University the day they covered What to Do When You Find a Dimebag in the Park in Front of Your Kid.

So if you still have your crib notes, feel free to share.


  1. Girl, my parents were honest about the fact that they smoked pot in the day, and when I tried it for the first (and only) time at age 36, I called and told Dad about it the following Monday, he replied sarcastically, "Oh, I'm SO disappointed".

    You handled it fine.

  2. I am also reminded that when I was a kid, my grandmother lived in Jamaica for awhile. Dad was helping her unpack when she moved home and unearthed a canister of Jamaica's finest. He asked her about it and she said it was a green tea that she'd been in the habit of drinking in the afternoons as it was "so relaxing". Dad told her it was ganja, and as she was very anti-drug, he offered to get rid of it for her. Which he did. In a series of small fires.

  3. What was the bag of marijuana laying on the path? Marijuana eggs?

  4. This kind of story gives me both hope for the future (hey, there really are parents out there doing an awesome job!) and a feeling of relief that my dogs are my children (although their pediatrician disagrees).

    When they find a dime bag it doesn't raise uncomfortable questions. On the other hand I think they understood The Great Gatsby better than I ever will.

  5. I had a recent conversation with my middle child about this very thing recently. It scares me. Then my youngest piped in. I was naive when I was their ages, but I think I'm glad that they aren't. For the most part. However, it still scares me how much more "grown up" they are than I was...

  6. Smooth, lol. Nah, I think you did fine. Remember that commercial in the 90s where the kid said, "I learned it from watching you!" when he gets caught with pot? That's a big joke in my house. I learned it from watching you!


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