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"What's doobie?"

She's five - I thought. I also thought things like: She must have seen cable at Uncle Brian's house. Now we'll have to move. I never liked Uncle Brian much anyway. Maybe Becky's having an affair with a pot head when I'm out of town. Or a drug lord from Nicaragua. Maybe Becky's dealing. Maybe Uncle Brian's her supplier. Maybe he's a drug lord from Nicaragua.

Things like that. Normal rational things like that. Then I took a deep breath and feigned calm.

"A doobie is like a cigarette. People smoke it. Ok?" I pulled out my chair and she pulled out hers.

"If you smoke cigarettes you die," she stated with the confidence of a Surgeon General.

"Yea, pretty much. I guess that's true. If you smoke long enough you get sick and some people even die."

"Mommy says you die."

"Yea...So do you understand what a doobie is now?" I spilled a box of crayons onto the kitchen table and handed her a stack of construction paper hoping the interrogation was over and we could draw together instead or at least have some normal little people conversation about, I don't know, colors of finger nail polish she's into this week or how to make a fart sound with your armpit. Anything.

"Can you take me to see them make doobie?"

"Well, it's not like shovels or pencils. I mean, they don't make them in a big factory somewhere like that. I don't think."

I imagined a steel box miles wide and long. Inside, union members pull levers and pack joints in printed cartons and head back to their homes in the suburbs when the whistle blows at five o'clock. "They grow plants. Then they cut the plants down and dry them out in the sun. And then they crunch up the plants when they're dry and roll them up in a little piece of paper. And that's how you make a doobie - how THEY make a doobie. But we can't go see them do that."

"Then they make it on fire like a cigarette and they breath it and die," she continued matter-of-factly while adding a red smile to the yellow sun beaming down from the upper right corner of her paper.

"Pretty much." My page was still blank. Suddenly realizing how dry my mouth was, I stood to get a glass of water. "Do want anything to drink?"

"No. Why can't we see them make it?"

"Doobie? I mean doobies? Well, it's against the rules to make doobies, Sweety. Doobies are drugs. Some drugs are good for your body like cold medicine and stomach ache medicine, you know, and some drugs are bad for you. If you use drugs that are bad for you or hang out with people who take drugs that are bad the police can write you a ticket."

"And go to jail." Tiny pink billowy flowers bloomed from the end of her crayon along the bottom of her paper.

"Yea, sometimes." I swallowed mouthfuls of cold water and prayed there were no more questions. When did my little girl become an expert on our criminal justice system?

"Why do people smoke doobies? They're gonna go to jail."

"You know how when you get scared at night you like Mommy to come sit with you? And when I get sad I like to make music or color with you?"

She nodded.

"Some people are really sad or really scared and they think if they use bad drugs they'll be happy, I guess."

"But they get dead." And with that she slid down from her chair and posted her work on the refrigerator with a magnet and a look of satisfaction.

"Yea, they, um, get dead," I stammered. "So if anyone ever talks to you about trying drugs you need to come tell Mommy or Daddy or Uncle Brian or Aunt Amy, ok? So we can tell you if it's a good drug that will make your body well or a bad drug. Will you do that? Ok?"

"Yea." She removed another page from the stack in front of her and gripped a black crayon in her fingers. "I'm making a farm."

"Ok, well is that all you wanted to know about doobies then?"

She nodded.

I drank another glass of water. She drew a cow and a farmer and a barn. I drew a factory with odd smelling smoke coming from its chimneys.

I couldn't stand it any more.

"Where'd you hear about doobies, Gabriella?"

"On the radio they sing, 'doobie doobie doo doo.'"

"Oh." And I pinned my drawing to the refrigerator alongside her smiling sunshine and pink flowers.


Blogger Pat Callahan said...

That is classic! I had a moment like that with my oldest when he was about 3 while we were watching a movie and he said, "Where the hell do they thihnk they're going?"

It was a moment...


Anonymous shari brown said...

Thank you, I just sprayed coffee out my nose all over the computer. Can you post a warning, bro? That was stinkin'hilarious!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm suprised you didn't automaticaly blame the Californians.

Blogger GrovesFan said...

Ooops! Remember, next time, ask that last question first! It could save a lot of premature grey hairs from suddenly appearing on your head.

Also, don't you know by now that 5 year olds already know everything that's vital to life on this planet (and in Gabriella's case, life afterward too, I'm sure)?


Blogger Kat said...

Too funny!

Blogger marianne said...

Well, thank goodness I was drinking a Slurpee while reading this and not hot coffee - in case that nose spraying thing happened to me.

My son asked me some innocent and uncomfortable questions this week about what was up with that special "health" class. The one where they separate the boys from the girls. I think I would have rather been asked the "doobie" question. Maybe.

Very cute story. Thanks for the laugh. :-)

Blogger Society's Elite said...

Hahahah... That was good..

I wish I could record all the funny things that comes out of my son's mouth.

Just another reminder that kids shouldn't watch Cheech and Chong.

Anonymous miss munky said...

uh, I'm 28 and I don't think I'm ready to watch Cheech and Chong. LOL!

Those kind of conversations are on my top ten list of why I love being a mom. Thanks for sharing.

Blogger Kathy said...

That was classic child raising!

Blogger andrĂ© said...

this was great!
hope all is weel with your family

Blogger Rachel said...

This doesn't have anything to do with your post (which I got a kick out of, of course) but I wanted to ask...

I didn't ever catch what Testamints had to do with the Lord's Supper. You talked about it at Ikon tonight but...I never heard you connect Testamints to it. So...I'm curious now. :) Help me out?

Great message, by the way. I do believe it inspired/convicted a lot of people.


Blogger Shaun Groves said...

yea, I got lost in my notes, honestly, and skipped that. I was gonna tell a story about testamints and then tie that back to us "proclaiming" like we talked about and make the point that the church serves the purpose of the testamint in the story. Basically, we're the representation of God not a piece of candy.

Much better with the story.

Thanks for bringing up my glaring failure as a teacher. ; )

Seriously, thanks for being there...and here.

Blogger Cristy said...

I miss the days when my kids asked questions like that. As teenagers, they already know everything! Or so they think...

I just went on the "field trip" with my 11-year-old daughter last week where they separate the boys and the girls. Good times. Lots of little girl giggles.

When my boys were in 4th grade, we were in the car one day and one asked me, "Where EXACTLY do babies come from?" A full year before the "field trip." I saw this as an opportunity to talk to the boys about this before anyone else had the opportunity to mislead them, because apparently someone must have been talking about it...or they wouldn't have asked me. I told him we would have to sit down with Dad when we got home and talk about it. "NEVERMIND THEN!" was the response. They would never have asked Dad a question like that. After we prayed, my husband and I sat down with our bible and the medical dictionary (with pictures) and started at the beginning to explain "exactly where babies come from." They were grossed out. But atleast they knew we would tell them the truth when they asked a question...who would make that up? GROSS!

Anonymous zeuang said...

When I wasin the 3rd grade I ask my father what an aphrodisiac was because I saw it on Family Feud. I was never allowed to watch that show again.

Blogger Chez Bez said...

I would have answered "Michael McDonald."

Cute story. Parenting at is finest.

Blogger Joshua Ballard said...

That's GOLD! I actually laughed out loud...not like the nose laughing overused slightly amused 'lol', but the actual laugh out loud.

I have a 2 and a half year old, and am completely freaking out as to when she starts asking me all kinds of questions like that.

I'll keep in mind to ask the last question first.




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