"Mom, I have something to tell you."
Jake corners me in the kitchen while I'm flipping pancakes for dinner, and the smell from the ham sizzling in a nearby pan fills the air. I turn to face him. When he comes to me with that sort of statement, I'm instantly captivated. Is it school? Is he in trouble? What about the girl he has a crush on? Grade six is full of drama and I have a hard time keeping up.
"David asked me if I wanted to go smoke pot with him after school."
I can tell from his tone of voice that he is serious. The flipper finds its way to the counter and I put both hands on his shoulders, turn him to face me directly, and look him straight in the eye. For some reason I'm not even thinking about if he said yes or not, I just need to make sure it's absolutely true and not something that he has misinterpreted.
"Are you sure? 110% sure that's exactly what he said? Because if he did, this is really serious."
"I'm sure. Want to know what I said?"
It occurs to me that it hasn't even crossed my mind that maybe he said yes. He had the perfect opportunity that afternoon to take off with that group of kids and smoke pot. What if he did? I'm always afraid of his curiousity getting the better of him one day.
Last year Jake'sinterest was guns and weaponry, which was socially unacceptable to many people. They felt that he 'knew too much' and it made them uncomfortable. Little did they know, he then had moved onto drugs, and was facinated with what they were, how they were made, and what they did to your body. I let him research and ask questions, all the while looking at it from a scientific point of view. A method that before I had Jake was completely foreign to me. Back in the 70's, or at least in my world, it was just understood that drugs, booze, and sex were there, but I wasn't going to be doing any of them.
"So what did you do, sweetie?"
"I told them no thanks, but then they kept saying that it would be fun and drugs are good. I just told them that no, drugs are bad and I ran home." he shook his head sadly. "I don't understand why they would do drugs. Don't they know what it will do to them? You know, I've watched that show Intervention a few times, and it's really sad. I would never want to do drugs. It destroys your life."
Our conversation continued over hot plates of pancakes and sticky syrup, while we discussed different types of drugs and how they can affect your life. While I know that this will be an ongoing discussion throughout his teen years, I couldn't help but smile at him from across the table.
For once, instead of getting him into trouble, that curiosity and individuality kept him out of it.
I couldn't be more proud.