Taboos are not easily shed. To many people, hoping that your kids smoke weed is as twisted and disconcerting as damning your unborn child to hell. It has a malicious and juvenile ring to it, sliding off the tongue, dripping in innuendos and scathing connotations, the way a curse comes out the first time a 12-year-old gets feisty enough to fire it.
Contrary to the uneasy 12-year-old, this declaration isn’t made in malice, foolery or for attention. It’s a simple statement, one said in passing only to think about more seriously in the confines of my apartment. Do I actually hope my kids will smoke weed? In the same way I hope they will do well in school and eat their vegetables? In the way I hope they will be free thinkers and appreciate Woody Allen films?
In the way I hope they’ll like books and black olives? While I do not hope my children would ever be smoking pot at the same time I’m trying to get them to eat their vegetables, I have concluded that I hope when every other kid starts legally drinking at 21, my kids take up the reefer, instead.
Let me be clear that I do not hope my kids are just going to smoke weed all day and be potheads, but am rather advocating that if they are going to indulge in any type of illicit activity that seems to come with adulthood (like having wine with dinner), it's towards the side of marijuana, and not booze.
Unlike alcohol, I hope my children experience the effects of weed, letting it open their minds, permanently affecting them. I hope they save their money for dime bags and grinders, learning how to get by on just res hits and spliffs.
Then I hope they read books and listen to music. I hope they paint and go to museums and DVR “The Cosby Show.” I hope they come to dinner a little stoned and think my mashed potatoes are pillowy clouds of love. I hope they think about religion and history. I hope they try new foods and listen to Etta James records. I hope they rent "Casablanca" and think about becoming writers. I hope they fall in love with everything around them, never missing a moment or passing an opportunity, including never passing up a hit.
Smoking weed won’t be about getting loaded, but seeing the world differently, tuning in to the real facets of life. It won’t be about lying on the couch all afternoon, eating chips and watching trashy TV (even though it should be allowed every once in a while). It will be about trying to cook and coming up with a new recipe for tuna salad. They will think about their relationships, God and the scope of the universe. They will think about life, death and what it means to be a good person, because that will become important in the times of self-evaluation and actualization, which only a joint can bring.
They will be better people for it. They will hold themselves to a different standard than their peers at the American whiskey bar. They will stay away from toilet bowls and hospitals and nod politely, yet cringe inside, when their coworkers tell them of the bits and pieces they vaguely remember of their nights out. They will shy away from those lofty mistakes only liquor can bring and the beer guts that other women’s sons will incur.
They will welcome change. Their minds will be open to new ideas and far off theories. They will welcome adversity, embracing it for everything that’s worthwhile about the different, the unknown. Their world will be fuller, more colorful and more interesting than anyone else’s. They will see what other people don’t, and appreciate what the masses fail to comprehend.
They won’t waste their money on cheap tricks to numb the pains of life. They won’t try to distract themselves with bar crawls and petty theft. They won’t get belligerent in an attempt to escape their own minds and they won't wander into dark alleyways to find company. They won’t have to throw up on their shirts to remove themselves from reality. They will explore the answers, the truths, the realities we don’t want to face. They will find solutions, not distractions. They will become thinkers and philosophers rather than drunkards and fools.
It’s okay if my kids aren’t the smartest in their class or the prettiest of the group. It’s okay if they never win a medal or run a marathon. It’s okay if they never eat brussels sprouts, or if they dream of becoming taxi drivers. Their lives are their own and there is only so much I can do to raise my kids the right way. The only things I will secretly hope and pray for is that they will be happy, healthy -- and smoke the ganja.
Photo credit: The Breakfast Club