Closer Than They Appear

reflections from life as a dad

Episode Ten: Why Start Now


Back in September I read an article in the New York Times called “Pot for Parents.” It’s written by a dad from San Francisco. Here’s the opening line:

“The youngest of my three daughters was born around the same time I became a card-carrying medical cannabis parent.”

The article continues to explain his history with medical marijuana to help his stress, anxiety, and lower back pain…and then how it has made him into a better parent. Let me quote the article further.

“Here’s what a typical weekday evening exchange between me and my oldest daughter once looked like:
Child: Daddy, can you how me how to make a Q?
Father: sipping bourbon and soda, not looking up from iPad–just make a circle and put a little squiggle at the bottom.
Child: No, show me!
Father: Sweetie, not now, ok? Daddy’s tired.

It’s different now:

Child: Daddy, can you show me how to make a Q?
Father: (getting down on the floor) Here, I’ll hold your hand while you hold the pen and we’ll make one together. There! We made a Q! Isn’t it fantastic?
Child: Thanks, Daddy!
Father: Don’t you just love the shape of this pen?

It’s the same with my middle child:

Child: Can I watch a video?
Father: Of Course!

Child: Can I watch a video?
Father: Why don’t we read a story and then pretend we’re in our own video! Go pick out a book, and I’ll go get the finger puppets.”

It’s a very funny article–the guy wittily writes that pot is associated with short term memory loss, and the writes the exact same thing a second time–but it hasn’t stuck with me for 6 months because of its humor. It has stuck with me because it is is the first time I’ve ever heard someone claim that smoking pot makes them a better parent.

Listen to the full story by pressing play.

Read the full New York Times article Pot for Parents.


2 thoughts on “Episode Ten: Why Start Now

  1. I thought the episode was pretty good. A few things I felt the need to discuss however were:

    1. How does a parent who chooses to smoke marijuana, legally or illegally, help their children understand the reasons why they need it? I don’t have a good solution myself, but I’d be interested to hear what others think.

    2. The supermarket anecdote smacks of America. Nowhere that I know of in Europe, would anyone in their right mind start asking a complete stranger questions about their pregnancy. Sadly, we here on the other side of the pond feel that anyone’s business is our business which leads to my next question.

    3. Why does a judgment (sp?) have to be made about everyone we come across? I find myself doing it routinely, just like you did when you finished reading the article about the pot-smoking dad. It is one of my biggest disappointments that I have in myself and strive to rid myself of it every day.

    • Nick, I think you raise a great point about sharing whatever meds it is you take (be they marijuana, prozac, or even diabetes meds) with your kids. Definitely challenges in that situation. I guess it’s a matter of the right age…like having the birds and bee’s talk.
      As to the US-Europe comparison, that’s fascinating. I never thought of giving unwanted advice to strangers as a distinctly American trait.
      But I do think that being judgmental is human, and it’s not one of our finest traits. It’s why I’m trying to be mindful of my judgments, and it sounds like you’re doing the same.
      Thanks for listening

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