We warn them about all the things.
And for me, the warning can feel like a talisman. A charm I use to keep them safe.
If I warn them and I worry, then the worst won’t happen.
Except it’s not true.
And when the worst almost happens, we come face to face with the fact we are not in control.
This past week, a friend of my girl took a hit off a dab pen (a form of vaping, look it up — if you are a parent, you have to be a researcher too ... trust me) and almost died.
Had my girl chosen to do so too, which is 100% in the realm of possibility, they both might not be here and this post would be quite different.
Without giving details, suffice it to say it’s actually quite likely this friend might not have made it had my girl left. Doctors were baffled. Both kids in question are traumatized. And rightfully so.
I would say our kids know with their heads the risks in vaping and dabbing, but really they see this as no risk at all when it comes to their actions.
When in fact the risk is their actual lives.
Trust me when I say this applies to almost every kid. Yes, even the “good” ones. The ones who won’t drink or smoke.
Yes, even your kid. And if you think "not my kid," then especially your kid.
The world is just that way.
Tonight, please have a frank conversation with your kids. Yes, right now ... the crisis is real and it is at all of our doorsteps.
Search their stuff ... all of it. Search the interwebs to see what you are looking for. There are a million sites ready to tell them all about it. READ THEM. Ask them the hard questions without judgment and without freaking out.
Listen to your precious babies that may now be taller than you.
This stuff is instantly addictive and if they have used it, it might be hard for them to stop.
Do not scold or lecture or judge. (Sorry, kids, if I have scolded or lectured or judged. I will do better.)
We all did stupid things when we were growing up, and lucky for us there weren’t a lot of things that would kill us with a puff or two ... at least that you could get your hands on pretty much anywhere.
Vaping is the socially acceptable drug choice our kids see as ... not so bad. And really not even a drug.
And it could kill them.
We can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand, friends.
We send them off to middle school and high school and college with all the supplies they need and with the clothes they want and the cell phone they are glued to.
We need to pay attention to the risks just as much.
Google "vaping" and "dabbing" and do the research. Then show your kids what you have found.
Talk to them.
I am grateful we had the outcome we did here, but other families have not been that lucky.
And we must all take action.