But now I think maybe I know- or I have the vaguest inkling at least.
I could never understand how parents could “allow” their offspring to smoke- when they were still children.
I started smoking when I was 14, two years under the legal age limit, but I worked very hard at concealing it from my parents. I smoked at school but I never got caught. At school I couldn’t fathom how so many of my friend’s parents allowed them to smoke- even at home! At the time I had half a feeling they were lucky their parents were so tolerant… but I always wondered how they and their parents reached that point.
Then when my Daddy Darling confronted me (my baby sister C tattle-tailed on me after some trivial sibling disagreement), I admitted that I smoked- he said he didn’t like it and wished I wouldn’t but that he couldn’t stop me. That was it. I was stunned to say the least- and of course I continued smoking on the sly. The first time I smoked a cigarette in front of my parents, I asked their permission first and I was 20 years old. Of course they knew we smoked (sister B and I both) but we had never smoked “together”. My Daddy Darling was also still smoking back then. But by then we were grownups so Mommy and Daddy Darling never said anything else about it, Mommy Darling’s only rule was that we don’t smoke in her house. They would also not “loan” us any money to buy smokes- if we wanted to smoke, we had to buy our own. Occasionally, Daddy Darling would let us “bum” one off him if we were out, but not often.
And now my Darling Damien smokes.
I’ve known it for a while, and I’ve caught him a couple of times. And then I started noticing that he’d been smoking at home, in my living room and my kitchen. So after fighting with him a few times about it I just said that if he insisted on smoking at home he must do it outside. So now he does just that. I also insist that if he is going to smoke, he leaves his smokes at home when we go out. I don’t want him smoking in front of my friends children. They’re mostly younger than him and a lot of them look up to him and I don’t want them influenced by Damien if I can help it.
In a twisted way, I have kinda made peace with the fact that Damien smokes- and it’s no secret either. My friends and family know Damien smokes- they know I know he smokes- they know I don’t like it. If he could just stick it out till he’s 16 at least then it’d be legal! It’s a little hard to put into words exactly how I feel about it… without sounding flippant or complacent.
Oh- and add to that that I wish someone would explain to me why there are still so many ADULTS on this planet who will not smoke in front of their parents!
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.