‘You see another side to your child. I realized how funny she is and how mature she’s become’
Recently, I was at a party for a friend’s adult son who had just got engaged. At one point in the evening, as I was heading to the washroom, I could see my friend’s husband and their son huddled close together outside the venue, as if in deep conversation. It looked like a beautiful father-son moment. That is, until I saw the smoke, and this newly engaged son passing a joint to his father.
When my girlfriend found out about it, she was mad. “We were all supposed to do it together!” Her husband had promised her that to celebrate their eldest child’s milestone, all three of them would share a joint together.
Like me, my friend also has a minor-aged child. Many of my mother-friends have children with large age gaps between them. This is because we had our first or second children when we were in our 20s or early 30s, and as we inched closer to 40, we gave into our desire for another human being who needed us, and didn’t roll their eyes at us. I have a 16-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old, son — my mid-life crisis baby — who also has two sisters from another mother, both in their 20s, and no longer living at home.
I have another friend with a three-year-old, as well as a child who just started university and another child now living in New York. She’s back to dealing with toddler tantrums, only this time around in a post-legalization world. “With my other two, I never used. It wasn’t even on my radar,” she says. “I almost can’t remember how I got through without using.”
Us modern but “mature” mothers, raising multiple children at various ages and stages, are changing the way important milestones are being celebrated. Some of my mother-friends have matching tattoos with their daughters, for example. A handful of years ago, I noticed a dainty heart on the wrist of a gym friend. When I asked her about it, she told me that for her daughter’s 17th birthday they went to a tattoo parlour to get matching ink.
Now more mothers I know are celebrating their children’s milestones by smoking cannabis together. They’ll blow out candles, eat cake and then share cannabis. And eat more cake, because, munchies.
This summer, my friend’s son turned 19 and instead of going out to a bar for an alcoholic beverage to celebrate, they smoked a joint together in the backyard.
It was hilarious. We decided to bake cookies and we couldn’t stop laughing.
“I videotaped it. I still have the video on my phone and I’ve watched it, I don’t know, probably 500 times,” she told me.
Said another friend, who smoked up with her daughter when she turned legal: “It will be something I’ll always remember, and I think she will too. You see another side to your child. I realized how funny she is and how mature she’s become. I think, after years of a rocky teenage relationship, smoking together actually brought her back to me. We hadn’t talked so openly or laughed so hard, in forever. It was like I had my baby back and we formed a new kind of adult friendship.”
Now, her daughter will occasionally ask my friend if she wants to share a joint, and my middle-age mom-friend, who is also raising a five-year-old, jumps at the opportunity. “I feel flattered that she wants to share a joint with me. It’s so rare that she can hang out just with me, so of course I’m going to take any chance I can get with her.”
When I was raising my daughter I rarely, if ever, used cannabis. I had no desire. With my son, I do all the same things I did with my daughter, except he is being raised by a mother who uses recreationally at night (or sometimes before an animated movie and definitely while he tries to explain Pokemon, a card-swapping game that you pretty much have to be a genius to figure out).
I’m not sure if I’m a better or worse parent post-legalization, but will I be asking my daughter in a couple of years to blow out her birthday candles and partake in cannabis? Maybe. The effects are far less permanent than getting matching tattoos.
Rebecca Eckler is the best-selling author of Blissfully Blended Bullshit
Written by Rebecca Eckler, Mom 4/20