Saturday, October 18, 2008

Parent Like a Pothead

Eek! I just saw a mouse through my window, walking along the side of the kids' wagon. I rapped on the window. "You! Mouse! Don't even think of entering our basement! I mean it, mouse!"

It ran away, so I'm pretty sure it's not slipping under the cellar door right now. (Sorry, Mom!)

Anyway, that's not what I'm posting about today. I'm posting about how sometimes, it's a good idea to parent as if you've been smoking pot. Now, let me be clear: Unlike this mom (or, great Scott!, this one), I do not actually take care of my kids after smoking pot. (I have nothing against the sweet wheat, but I am paranoid enough about the remote prospect of having ones children taken away for using illegal drugs that I stick to much more dangerous legal drugs. Besides, there are never any good coupons out for pot.)

However, today I was reminded of that controversial Babble piece from last summer, where the mom said that she was a better mother after a little pot. She said that it helped her live in the moment with her child, not rush ahead to the next task, and just enjoy the physical and sensual now.

That's what kind of late morning we had today. I wanted to take the girls to the Farmer's Market. It was getting late, so of course every step seemed to take a million years: getting their teeth brushed, getting them dressed. Shoes, jackets, sippy cups. The wagon.

By the time we were finally out the door, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to get any doughnuts, because this hallmark of our farmer's market often sells out early. But I still felt pretty confident about snagging some vegetables.

Then, Nutmeg decided that since she was wearing her new-to-her Nikes, she was going to have to get out of the wagon and run. Which meant that Pebbles was also going to have to get out of the wagon and "run."

Then, each girl had to have her turn pushing and pulling the wagon. It's about half a mile to the farmer's market. We inched along.

By the time the girls had gotten to finding pretty leaves, which they needed to hand me and then have given back to them, multiple times, I had somehow found the grace to unclench. Buying doughnuts? Was that the point of my morning? No. The point was the rarity of a sunny autumn day. The leaves sifting down in the breeze. We walked down a street we don't usually travel and passed a lot of pretty old houses.

We came within one crossing of the Farmer's Market, and I could see that there were still booths set up. I could still, with luck, buy a pie pumpkin, maybe some onions. We'd see about those doughnuts.

But we weren't as close as I'd imagined. I had been assessing the market conditions from the vantage point of the sidewalk next to the high school sports fields. The girls had discovered the high school girls field hockey team engaged in a game. They were both entranced with these big girls and their hockey sticks. I was amused by their outfits -- tiny pleated skirts that I assumed had built-in shorts.

We stood at that fence as the "Walk" light changed to "Don't Walk," and cycled through again, again, and once more. I thought I could see some of the farmers packing up as we stood there still.

In the end, I was able to buy the vegetables I wanted (no doughnuts, though). But that's not the point. I do believe in unschooling enough to know that learning happens when you're busy making other plans, and I was glad to have my daughters see those athletic young girls with all their self-confidence, playing a sport I would have never thought to introduce them to.

I was proud of them for paying such sustained attention to that game, and I was proud of myself for letting go of my goal long enough to let my daughters soak up the day, and to let myself remember that they will not always be 4 and 1, and have nothing on their schedules except to hang out with me.

I was proud of parenting like a pothead.


Bert said...

First, those links are SO disturbing. As a person who works in the field of screwed up people (including screwed up children), I can't think of any instance in which being high while taking care of children is a good idea. Slowed reflexes help a person "go with the flow" more, but they also often result in accidents that could have been prevented. Believe me, I've heard the stories from parents and children, alike.

Second, go you! Slowing down to enjoy your daughters on such a rare sunny autumn day sounds like a dream. You are such a good mom. :)

Sara said...

i laughed and shot milk out of my nose at the "Besides, there are never any good coupons out for pot" comment. i have found that to be a problem, too. :-)

Kori said...

Have you ever read anything about mindfulness? That is what you seem to be describing here---being present, embracing that moment, being fully there and acknowledging that you are making the choice to be there. I read a portion of a book about mindfulness my first quarter of grad school (not sure the name, as it was assigned and I wasn't MINDFUL about it at the time), and it was very intriguing, especially with regard to parenting.

Carrie said...

yeah, i've heard of mindfulness, living in the moment, etc. i prefer to call it "potheadness." heh.

Kori said...

"The Practice of Potheadness" (subtitle "without all that pricey weed")

NYTimes bestseller for author Carrie Kirby. Yeah, I see it.

Anonymous said...

When I first decided to be a sahm my kids were preschool. I relished every minute of no longer rushing here to there to here to there.

I wouldn't consider it "parenting like a pothead" [funny tho'] but I really enjoyed your story. It brought back precious memories as my kids are now 17, 16 and 11. I am still [yay!] a sahm and we still don't rush, but we don't always get the chance to stop and "watch the hockey game" ala' smell the roses.

Thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

Great post. I am always struggling with this, really.

And I buy the paper every Sunday, but there never ARE any coupons for pot! Or maybe that's what people are getting at Rite Aid, 'cause I never go in there. . .