“Just Say No” do you remember that famous Nancy Reagan campaign? I do. In fact it feels like yesterday that every other car on the highway had a bumper sticker that read “Just Say No.” There were entire school assemblies all about just saying no. There were pencils, notebooks, stickers, and television commercials that told us to just say no. I’m not naive. I know that there were plenty of kids who didn’t in fact say no, but I also know that we talked about it. If there was one thing Nancy Reagan did with her campaign it was to open up a discussion about drugs amongst families. Somewhere between then and now we’ve stopped talking about it.
Kids have stopped saying no and it’s become an epidemic. Heroin is killing our kids daily and while I’m not an expert when it comes to the actual statistics I know that I can’t turn on the news, pick up the newspaper or go onto the Internet without reading something about heroin being our nation’s new epidemic. As a mom this scares the crap out of me. My boys are still young and while we are not yet at the point of needing to worry about this directly it’s always there. It’s in the back of my mind every single time I read something like this:* Heroin Epidemic: A Mother's Plea*
I look at my boys and how innocent they are. I look at them playing and laughing and think that there are plenty of moms who enjoyed these simple joys with their kids too. I’m not sure how we fix the problem but I do know how I will attempt to beat it in our house.
My dear boys,
I’m not your friend. I’m your mom. I’m well aware that there are going to be days, weeks, months and possibly years when you tell me you don’t like me or worse yet that you hate me. I need you both to know I don’t need you to like me. I just need you to know how very much I love you.
I know you’re both frustrated that your cell phones are not allowed anywhere near the dinner table, but dinner is our time. Your dad and I want to know all about your day. We want to know the good and the bad and all the in between. I know you think we suck even more for not allowing them at family gatherings. Sorry boys but whatever your friends have to tell you can wait until after Pop Pop’s birthday. One day you will realize that being present is so much more important than you could possibly realize now.
I know that you are annoyed that everyone else gets to stay out later than you and I want you to know it’s not about not trusting you…really it’s not. It’s about loving you and worrying about you and knowing from experience that nothing good happens after midnight.
I want you to know that in this house you are held accountable for your actions.
I want you to know that real friends don’t pressure you into doing things that make you uncomfortable. Real friends encourage you to be just who you are.
I want you to know that we will know all of your friends. We will also know your friends parents and please don’t think that we will hesitate to pick up the phone to call your friends parents to make sure you are where you say you are.
In our house we will talk about drugs. We will openly discuss what drugs can do to you and your dreams. We will talk about how drugs can impact not only your lives but the lives of those around you. We know most of these discussions will be met with eye rolls and we’re fine with that. They are going to happen anyway.
I know there
may come a time when the thought of doing drugs doesn’t scare you at all but I
want you to remember that the thought of either of you doing drugs scares me to
death. Drugs can take you away from me. Drugs can take you away from yourself.
Remember that. Just say no and come home. It will be a decision you never regret.
I want you both to know that there isn't anything you can’t talk about with us. There is nothing you can tell us that will make us love you any less. From the moment we held each of you in our arms we promised to love you…unconditionally.
I want you to know that your dad and I aren’t perfect and we don’t always have all the answers. We are doing the best we can to raise you both with love. We want you to reach for your dreams and we will support your dreams, the big and the small. We will also pick you up when you fall and tell you to carry on.
I promise to always be honest and loving with you both and I expect the same in return. They say home is where your story begins and your stories have captured me from the moment we brought you home. I’m excited to follow your stories even after you leave home. I’m excited to see where your stories will lead you. I promise you that I will cheer you on and support you and no matter what I will love you. Always know that I am here and when it feels like everyone else has left… I am always here.
All my love,
If we don’t encourage our children to share the little things when they are young they may never share the big things when they are older.
*Read the above article. Share it with your kids. Share it with those you love. Let's beat this epidemic*
*Write a letter to your children. Let them read it. Let's get talking*