Talking to your kids about drugs is positively awesome. Knee-jerk sarcasm there, sorry. It’s awful. How do you explain something like drugs to someone who still collects sidewalk pebbles and thinks of bagels as fake doughnuts?
You wait ’till they’re older? Well yeah, but I was recently forced to give it a shot with my young son. We’d been out and about when a young woman approached us, and, though she didn’t look homeless, it was pretty clear she wasn’t quite with it. It soon became apparent she was high as a kite. If Elon Musk were launching kites into outer space.
I assumed a protective, shielding step in front of my son, because duh. Her eyes weren’t focused on anything as she asked him if I was kidnapping him. I had been trying to circumvent any alarm by immediately rushing us away, but f*ck that, “kidnapping”!? I took his hand and led him away swiftly, she was mumble-shouting for him to stay with her.
He wanted to know why. Why she was like that. He’d seen mentally ill homeless people about town before, but this was different. She wasn’t a bag of dirty rags rocking herself to some unheard death metal. I could have palmed it off on that, but it didn’t seem right, and I decided to open the “drug talk” can of worms.
Holy hell. Wow! The more questions he asked, the more uncomfortable it got (for me), but I stuck with as many explanations as I could keep kid-safe, without getting too dark.
He seemed to take it in thoughtfully, or he was farting. Who knows. In any case, I felt like I’d done a good job of at least explaining what he’d experienced with the poor woman, if not completely nailing the whole drug topic. It was a beginning.