Monday, October 5, 2009

Death by Teenage Boy, episode 1

So, the teenage boy says to me:

TB: Mom, I just want you to know that if I come home smelling like weed, I promise it's not me, it's just the people around me.

Me: (thinking, 'Compose yourself here, Jenna.') What is that supposed to mean?

TB: Nothing, I just didn't want you to freak out if I ever smell like weed, because I will never do drugs, it's just that everyone around me does, and I just don't want to get blamed.

Me: What do you mean, 'everyone around you?' Your friends? Because you shouldn't be hanging around anyone who is doing drugs.

TB: Mom, everyone does drugs.

Me: Everyone? Or just the losers?

TB: Most kids, Mom.

Me: Most kids? Or just the stupid loser kids? Your friends?

TB: Yeah.

Me: Your friends, or just people you know?

TB: People I know.

Me: Well, there's a difference. Why are you around anyone doing drugs, ever, anyway?

TB: What am I supposed to do, just jump over all the kids at school when I'm going to class?

Me: Every kid in the hallway and all over campus is smoking weed? You seriously want me to believe that?

TB: . . .and I'm just supposed to fly over them?

Me: Oh, c'mon. They're not standing in the middle of the hallway in between classes, son. I know they're doing it, but they're hiding it a little better than that. It is illegal, you know.

TB: (this news seemed to stun him a bit)

Me: You did know that smoking pot is illegal, right? It's against the law. You can go to jail. (I threw that in for good measure.) And this is junior high. Do you really expect me to believe that you have no choice but to be friends with potheads?

TB: But I'll never do drugs, Mom, I told you.

Me: Because you're so invincible? Nobody is invincible. When you're around something enough, it doesn't seem as bad. I mean, kids smoking weed is so yesterday's news to you, you'd forgotten that every kid doing it is breaking the law.

TB: (silence, and the "she doesn't understand anything look" is on his face)

Me: You've always had courage with your friends in the past. I would hope that if someone you were really friends with decided to start using drugs, that you would have the courage to say to them, 'I really like you, but if you're going to make that choice, I can't hang around you.' That's the kind of boy I've always believed you to be.

TB: (shaking head)

Me: Oh, and don't think I won't pull your butt out of there and homeschool you again, because I will. (Again, for good measure.)

Later. . .

(to Teenage Girl)

TB: Mom's mad at me because my friends smoke weed.

TG: (Gives a great lecture on her own.)

TB is a big talker, to be sure. He always has been. But these are the issues he's dealing with. I do believe that he has decided he will never do drugs, but that isn't enough. I want him to decide he also won't be friends with other kids who will do drugs, especially kids who will in junior high! And I think the 'friends' he's talking about are not really his friends, but after more probing, friends of friends' older siblings, and kids that everyone knows of at school, but still. He's already on a short leash about whose house he can go to. I prefer they all hang out here, because I know me, and I don't know all of them.

Ah, the joys of figuring out life when you're a teenager.

It's a slow death, I tell ya. For me, I mean.


Wonder Woman said...

My youngest brother is 15. My mom is dying a slow death, too.

Hang in there.

Abby said...

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a lot of his friends (not all, though) smoke weed. Times are a changin..growing up is not the way you remember it, sadly. It's just so in your face at those ages and I'm also not surprised he didn't realize it's illegal because of that. If it's illegal..why does it seem everyone is doing it or talking about it? That sort of thing. It's really hard to understand drugs when you're that age, remember. I mean..I heard people talking about drugs and what not when I was that age..but I didn't really know or understand what it meant. I'd never SEEN in my mind when all of these people were saying "say no to drugs!" and ya know..putting an imaginary ban on them in young's hard to deal with when it actually happens to you. When you're finally in that situation and joints or whatever are being passed around ('oh, so THAT'S what it looks like!'). I don't think he was coming to you for a lecture..I think it was his own boy way of coming to you for advice or to just let you know what's going on in his life. However, the drug talk is a very important one and I'm glad you stuck to your guns and threw some threats in there, too. Ya know..for good measure.

Love you!

YogaNana said...

Please make sure of your ground when you issue threats ... I would be very surprised if a young teenager, first offense, small amount of pot, would go to jail.

Well, actually, we just checked the California laws and he *wouldn't.* Maximum fine of $100 for less than an ounce.

If you tell him *jail* to scare him and then he asks his friends and they know the law, you've lost credibility on larger issues. And you know there are much larger possible issues down the road.

YogaNana said...

PS -- over 18, any amount *on school grounds while school is in session* could be some jail time.

Misty said...

it really is a different time. I remember knowing the three kids, no one liked, who smoked weed. now it really is THAT common.

the high ground is a tough climb to get to- and once there it is lonely. I guess kids just need something they are "working toward" to make it worth it.

Leslie said...

We have the drugs talk and the sex talk just about every day at our house. I like to remind him of his choices and how choosing the right one is not always easier but best. Things are so different today then they were when we were in school.

Luisa Perkins said...

It sounds to me like he's trying to tell you something else. I'm not sure what. But his first statement seems a little more layered than it might appear at first.

Scribbit said...

Oh I hear you. Since the beginning of the semester in 7th grade Spencer has now been approached about sex twice. And then of course there was the boy in our ward (active of course) who tried to get him to look at pictures of "hot girls" on the internet. I think Andrew and I spend all of our time together talking about him and how to navigate this time. VERY tough. And while I know he's been taught and wants to do the right thing deep down he is a total sheep and will follow his friends to be popular which scares me the most. He cares so much what they all think.

cristie said...

glad you're on top of this! good luck. xox

Heidi said...

My oldest (normal) child is almost 15. I am APPALLED by the things she knows and what she has to deal with. My mother would have conniptions. It's very scary.

Wanda said...

Ummm Wow!

I teach in a large public high school. I have 3 teenagers! Oldest just left for college and the other two are in high school where I work.
I see and hear a lot of worldly crazy stuff.....but nothing like that.
I am aware of poor choices and behaviors going on around me....but it consists of a certain type of crowd.
My kids are leaders (thankfully) and would not even consider hanging with another kid that is into anything that doesn't match up with their faith!
In saying that....we also communicate about EVERYTHING in our family.
Nothing is off limits to talk about. Which has been a blessing. Each one of them will come to us with anything and we are thankful for it.

I would certainly check out every single kid that he's hanging with. People like to believe that they have NO control over their kids!
As long as I have breath......and they are my kids.....I will have authority over them.
That's what God expects of His children.

We live in a moral bankrupt'd be surprised at what goes on in other homes. It's sad!

Lara Neves said...

This scares me a lot. My oldest is only 9, but she is one that will do things she knows she shouldn't because she is so afraid of what people think of her. We just moved, and I prayed and prayed that she would find a good group of friends, and it looks like she has, but I still worry. She only has this year and next year before she'll be thrust into middle school.

Good luck, mom!

Heather - hlm584(at)hotmail(dot)com said...

Hey Jenna...I'm a first time reader of your blog but just wanted to say that I think you handled this discussion with your son great! On the spot discussions like these are hard to navigate and I think you should pat yourself on the back for raising a child that feels comfortable coming to talk to you about this issue. Keep up the good work!