Drugs, Sex, and Jesus

Aug 6 2010

Lately my kids have wanted to talk to me about the topic of my choice.

Which is weird.

Like they don’t know what they want to talk about?  Like they really want to open the door to allow me to lecture to them?  About anything?

Sounds good to me.  I’ll pick.  After all, opportunities like this don’t come along every day.

I was driving with my kids on a prolonged trip. My 12-year-old daughter exhausted all of her usual conversational topics, including:

  • Why I won’t buy her a laptop
  • Why I won’t buy her a new cell phone
  • Why I won’t buy her an iPod
  • Why I’m budgeting way too small an amount for back-to-school clothes
  • What I’m buying her for her birthday

So she asked me to pick our next topic.

I recently heard a story about a parent who, at the beginning of any car trip with her teenaged kids, immediately locks the doors and says, “So, kids, want to talk about sex or drugs?”

I assume she locks the doors so they won’t bail at 60 mph, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation gets.  Or maybe so she won’t.

Either way, I took a page straight out of her playbook.

“Sex or drugs.  Pick one.”

My daughter declined.

So I picked.  And then when I was done talking about sex, I picked again and talked about drugs.


One of those fabulous moments when I get to be a good, communicative mom with a huge heaping side of revenge for all that pre-teen angst.

A couple of days ago, one of my three-year-olds, Cai, said, “Whatcha wanna talk about, Mom?”

I caught myself before I said, “Sex or drugs. Pick one.”

I thought fast and hard about an appropriate topic.

“Let’s talk about Jesus.”

Oh, yes.  I am that inspired.

“Yeah!” Cai responded, which was way better than my daughter’s response to my choice of topics for her.  Maybe next time I’ll choose Jesus.

I asked, “What’s your favorite thing about Jesus, Cai?”

After much thought, Cai said, “She gots magic powers.”

In case you’re curious about what Jesus does with her magic powers, Cai has the answer to that, too.

“She opens things.”

Maybe she can get that dang jam jar open.  Or maybe I’m missing the point.

Maybe she opens conversational opportunities with my kids.

I dig Cai’s Jesus.  She’s cool.

You’re both winners!

Aug 4 2010

When I was a child, my mother had the most irritating habit of ending any competition between my brother and me by exclaiming enthusiastically, “You’re both winners!”  Jeff and I are intensely competitive, even now – perhaps because we could never settle who’d won anything.

Parenting is often a series of extremes, picking and choosing which things our own parents did that we embrace and which things they did that we patently reject.  We tease my mom all the time about her “two winners” philosophy, but, still…

I reject the notion of two winners.

Aden, age 8, recently informed me that she’ll be marrying her brother Ian, age 10, when they grow up.

I told her this isn’t a good idea.

“Do you know why, Aden?  Why is it a bad idea to marry Ian?”

After some time to consider, Aden replied, “Because he’s mean and he has a girlfriend.”

Hmmm, interesting.

I was going to go with the whole incest thing.

But her focus on non-abuse and faithfulness has merit.

So, as much as I hate to give in, Mom, I’ll suck it up and say it.

Aden, we’re both winners.