So last week was our school districts Red Ribbon Week in support of drug addiction, awareness and the harmful effects of drug use. We didn’t get some pamphlet about how to talk to your child or any thing tangible to assist in this “drive” to help detour young minds from doing drugs. In fact, the only thing I remember getting was a reminder sheet of what silly, outlandish clothing item to dress my child in each day! Now, this is not to say that there wasn’t some talk about it in the classrooms or maybe some rally in the gym, although I think with my special needs child I would have been told if his daily routine had changed as that is the usual protocol.
Each day of the week I made sure my child showed up to part and joined in all the other ’round up against drugs’ rodeo recruits, and every afternoon my kiddo came to the car with absolutely nothing to say about drug awareness week!
So, by Wednesday afternoon I made it a point to ask him when he stepped into the car if he talked with anyone during the day or did anyone talk to him about drugs or drug awareness? His answer was simply “no!” Then he went on to ask me “What is drug awareness?” This question span some talk because I had confused him with the word : awareness. By the car ride home I was sure I had made an important topic some mystery by tossing a few words in that didn’t compute with my child….mom fail?
By the time I had everyone inside and backpacks unloaded it hit me however that even though no big rallies about the issues of drugs , nor printed “how to talk to your child….etc” had made its way in front of our eleven year old ….it was okay, he already knew “why” drugs are bad. It was at that moment I thought back to a rather shocking conversation that had happened about three weeks prior between my husband and the kiddo. I recall my husband walking into the kitchen and saying exactly these words:
“Well, Connor is not pregnant and ….he knows exactly why Colton came to live with us , forever. He really understands that part!”
I about dropped the pan I was washing as I gasped “what ??”
My husband began to explain the conversation that he and the Hero had just shared behind closed door in the Hero’s bedroom. My husband said the following about what took place:
Hero: “Dad, I think I’m pregnant!” (let me interject that the Hero’s fav subject is science and wow they’ve been studing plant reproduction….he took it to heart apparently, lol!)
Dad: “No, you can’t get pregnant, that’s only a mom thing!”
Hero: “Oh, well my tummy hurts. Anyway, how are babies able to look like their parents?”
Dad: “Well, that has to do with DNA and how babies receive some things from the mom and some things from the dad.”
Hero: “Why did Coltons Mom and Dad do drugs for?”…This was bad!”
(WOW, HOLD UP I KNOW THIS DID NOT COME UP DURING SCIENCE CLASS…)
Dad: “Well buddy, they had a problem with addiction and well, they loved their drugs more then they could love and care for Colton.”
I was dripping soapy water all over myself and the pan I’d been holding but I didn’t care. The ability for my child to truly understand how drugs affected anothers life and the consequence of their actions blew me (and dad) away!
Sometimes, because he’s speech is delayed some and because he doesn’t always say much, we forget just how much our Hero really IS paying attention to the world around him!
No, I don’t need a Red Ribbon Week to teach my child one thing about the affects of drugs…he’s already got that down pat!
In light of the efforts of our school system and the tough job they have trying to teach about the harm of drugs it cannot all be done at school….
Please talk to your kids while they are young. Please don’t assume they get it and why it matters! Lastly, don’t think that the dressing up like everyone else and the “fun lesson” is going to keep them safe from what lurks just outside their reach…